The Arizona Daily Sun and KAFF News are joining forces to host a joint candidate debate on Thursday, September 8 at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Flagstaff.
KAFF News Director Dave Zorn and I will be moderating the panel, asking questions that were submitted from the public before the event and possibly some from the live audience as well.
Both Flagstaff mayoral candidates have committed to the forum, and as of press time, eight of the nine city council candidates (including write-ins) have signed up to participate that night.
For Thursday night's event, doors at the Orpheum open at 5 p.m. and the event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is free. And if you're not able to make it to the town hall event, it will be streamed live on Great Circle Media's YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIo_BgWW9RpYtZy7c0__FwQ) and cross-posted on KAFF and the Daily Sun's social media and home pages.
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We will be asking questions that were submitted by Flagstaff residents as well as some of our own. While the questions will be unknown to the candidates in advance, it's safe to say some will address the major issues facing northern Arizona going forward, such as fires and flooding, traffic and development, and much more.
Personally, I don't remember many partnerships like this between media organizations in Flagstaff, but it couldn't come at a better time. Dave's team does excellent work at KAFF, and our hope is that this gives Flagstaff voters all the information they need to make their decisions in the November election.
Remember: because only two city council candidates (Austin Aslan and Lori Matthews) acquired enough signatures to be listed on the ballot, at least two write-in candidates will win a spot. The top three vote-getters on Nov. 8 will earn four-year spots on the council, while the person who finishes in fourth will serve the remaining two years of Becky Daggett's term. Daggett stepped down to run for mayor against incumbent Paul Deasy.
We hope to see a big turnout on Thursday night, both in the audience and online watching the stream. If all goes to plan, we might try to do more events like this for future elections or on important topics for northern Arizona such as housing and development, education or healthcare.
To RSVP for the event -- again, tickets are free -- visit the Orpheum's page at https://wl.seetickets.us/event/Townhall-Debate/502304?afflky=OrpheumTheater.