If you go
What: Steamboat Springs
When: 5 to 8 p.m. today
Where: Steamboat Springs
Community Center, 1605 Lincoln Ave.
Details: Food and refreshments will be provided by Rex's American Grill & Bar
Steamboat Springs Tonight's candidates forum will provide voters an opportunity to interact individually and directly with candidates in addition to hearing them answer questions posed by a moderator.
The Steamboat Pilot & Today, Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors, Routt County Democratic Party and Routt County Republican Party are hosting the forum at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. It begins at 5 p.m. with an hour-long opportunity to meet and greet candidates while enjoying food and beverages provided by Rex's American Grill & Bar.
"We're providing food, which always helps bring people out," said Paul Strong, of the Routt County Republican Party. "We're using the same format we used last year, which we thought was very successful."
That format also includes another one-hour period after the forum for voters to talk with candidates and ask any lingering questions on their minds. Questions from the audience will not be taken during the moderated portion of the event, which is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and will be led by Pilot & Today Editor Brent Boyer.
Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland will give a presentation about this year's election, which will be conducted exclusively with mail-in ballots. Steamboat Springs City Manager Jon Roberts will explain the city's ballot question, which asks voters to amend Steamboat's Home Rule Charter to make the process for initiating a referendum election consistent with state statute.
Bill Kennedy and Brian Kelly, candidates for the one contested Steamboat Springs School Board race, then will answer questions posed by Boyer.
Lastly, candidates from the Steamboat Springs City Council will answer questions.
Boyer said questions were developed and agreed to by the forum sponsors and have not been submitted to the candidates in advance.
Candidates in each council race will be asked questions about three broad topics: Steamboat 700, affordable housing and the city's economy and financial situation. The specific questions will vary by race, but candidates vying for the same seat will be asked the same questions. Strong said he thinks the questions will help voters differentiate the candidates.
"There are certainly a number of issues out there," he said.
The forum will be taped and rebroadcast on Steamboat TV18, Comcast Channel 18, throughout the election cycle. The days and times of the rebroadcast schedule will be announced shortly.