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Letter: Who is afraid of open microphone at Olds election candidates forum?

True leaders are not afraid to talk to their constituents, says letter writer about format of Olds election candidates forum

Re: Olds election candidates forum attracts 180 people

I was appreciative of the Olds and District Chamber of Commerce for hosting a candidates forum on May 10.

In anticipation, in an effort to understand candidate platforms and determine their familiarity with issues in our area, I prepared a question to be presented to all candidates.  

It was very disappointing to find out that there was not an open microphone at the forum, and all questions needed to be submitted in advance so they could be reviewed and selected by the moderator.

Residents could not ask questions directly to the candidates without “censorship." 

I fully realize the risk some people may feel that an open microphone brings, but as an elected official, we should have the courage and commitment to field any question, from any resident, anywhere, anytime.

If elected officials are unwilling to do so, they are in the wrong profession. No reasonable person expects their elected officials to know everything, but they do expect us to listen to their concerns.  

Elected officials work for us, and should answer to us, and in turn, they should have the opportunity to explain and defend their decisions.  

By not allowing questions directly from the floor without prior approval by a “censor," we are denying both ratepayers and their elected officials the opportunity for open, honest discussion. 

I don’t know who made the decision to not field questions from the floor, whether that request came from the candidates or from the organizers themselves, but that decision ruined the event for me.

True leaders are not afraid to talk to their constituents.

Gord Krebs,

Mountain View County