No-shows are not acceptable

Published 9:01 am Tuesday, October 3, 2017

On Thursday, as it does every election cycle, The Concerned Citizens of the Burlington Area hosted a Meet the Candidates forum for voters in the region.

The event, which took place at Burlington Elementary, gave those running for office a chance to make presentations and to participate in a question and answer session afterward.

Invitations were sent to candidates running in countywide, South Point and Fayette Township races.
Unfortunately, of the 12 candidates asked to attend, only five showed up for the event.

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Voters heard from Mary Cogan and Bill Patrick in South Point, Mike Jones and Mike Finley in Fayette Township and Jan Keatley in the South Point school board race.

Buddy Fry, the director of Lawrence County EMS and acting as a member of the Friend for EMS Levy organization, also made an appearance to discuss funding for emergency service that will be on the ballot.

Those who did not attend, several of whom were incumbent officeholders, deprived voters of the chance to hear from them and discuss the issues.

Keatley, who is running unopposed, and had nothing to gain or lose electorally from appearing, gave one of the most thorough presentations of the evening, detailing actions taken by the board since she took office.

She summed up the need for candidates to respond to the event invitation.

“You owe it to the people who elect you,” she said.

We commend the Concerned Citizens for, once again, doing their part for participatory democracy in organizing the event.

Of those who did not attend, there are occasions when understandable scheduling conflicts happen, but we would hope, in the future, candidates will go out of their way to respect the voters and take part in this civic exercise.