On Jan. 31, 2012 voters in the City of Clearwater get to elect a new mayor and decide the outcome of three referendum questions. Clearwater voters were supposed to elect two other council members but since there was no competition, council members-elect Jay Polglaze and Doreen DiPolito can sleep early on the last night of the first month of 2012.
Council member George Cretekos is running for mayor against Christine Marketos-Cuomo. Serving as Clearwater's vice-mayor, and among other community involvement, Cretekos is vice-president the Barrier Islands Governmental Council and is our alternate representative for the Suncoast League of Cities. Marketos-Cuomo appears to be a newcomer to the political arena and is definitely doing things, umm, ... different.
To help you decide which candidate would represent you best as the Mayor of Clearwater, the Clearwater Neighborhoods Coalition is hosting a Mayor and City Council Candidate forum. This forum will be held on Monday night, Jan. 9, 2012 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Salvation Army, 1521 Druid Road.
We have invited all of the candidates, even the ones that have already won, to come speak and take questions from our moderator. We use a moderator to avoid "gotcha" questions and audience groups don't target or promote one candidate unfairly. So far this seems to work best and gives everyone a comfortable atmosphere to share information.
Some questions we ask ourselves as those questions pertain to our neighborhoods and communities. Other questions we get from you and we do it two ways. One way is through our online poll.
The other way is at our forum. When audience members arrive they will be given a brochure that will include a question card. If anyone chooses to ask a question simply write it down and pass it to one of the CNC representatives that will be circulating in the room. Any questions will be taken to our panel for review, and if it is selected it will be passed to our moderator to be asked to the candidates.
This forum is your opportunity to come and meet the people that want to represent you. Through your questions and those of your neighbors you can form an opinion about the experience and ideas these candidates have. Choosing the candidate that best serves you is up to you.
See you at the forum and remember to vote on Jan. 31!