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Forum for BOC candidates Tuesday
Smart Growth organizes event
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Forsyth County News

If you go

• What: Smart Growth Forsyth County “Meet the Candidates” forum

• When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

• Where: Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce events facility, 513 W. Maple St.

• Online: View the questions or find more information at smartgrowth-forsyth.org.

Smart Growth Forsyth County invites residents to meet the candidates during a forum Tuesday night.

Candidates for county commission will field questions on growth, development and other topics provided by the local nonprofit.

Those questions have been given to the candidates ahead of the event and are also available online, said Claudia Castro, managing director.

“It’s important that we know who they are, what backgrounds they have, what they bring to the table and what their views are on growth and development because that is how Forsyth came on the map,” Castro said, adding that a commissioner’s vision for the county will shape the area past his or her time in office.  

Most questions will go to all the candidates, she said, but some specific questions may be asked only to those in one of the districts.

Audience members will also receive raffle tickets, which will give them a chance to pose their own questions, Castro said.

The commission posts for Districts 2, 4 and 5 are up for election this year.

All the candidates who qualified are Republicans, which means the commission races likely will be decided in the July 31 primary.

Those who have said they will attend the Smart Growth forum include: Incumbent Brian Tam and challenger Dennis Brown for District 2; incumbent Patrick Bell and challengers Cindy Jones Mills and Bill Mulrooney for District 4; and incumbent Jim Boff and challenger John Derucki for District 5.

Castro said she had not heard from Tim Hubbard or Charles Meagher, both of whom are also seeking the northern District 4 seat.

Smart Growth has held candidate forums in the past, including one in the same format prior to the 2010 commission election.

That event drew nearly 100 people, and Castro expects about the same for Tuesday’s forum.

The group provides a nonpolitical venue — in that Smart Growth does not endorse candidates or side with a party — and a welcome environment, she said.

“We don’t call it a ‘debate,’ it’s a ‘meet the candidates’ forum,” Castro said. “It makes it a little more intimate. Let’s get to know where they stand on issues that are really affecting everybody.”