Havelock’s future will be the topic when candidates for mayor and two board of commissioners seats appear together Monday night.
The Candidates Forum, cosponsored by the Havelock Chamber of Commerce and the Havelock News, is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center. Businesswoman Susan Braaten is the scheduled moderator of the event.
Incumbent Mayor Jimmy A. Sanders will be appearing alongside his challenger, Will Lewis, who is also a current board commissioner.
Also appearing will be incumbent commissioner Jim Stuart and candidates George Corbin, Brenda K. Wilson, Matthew (Sugarbear) Jones and Peter Van Vliet. The five are running for two seats on the five-member board. Stuart and Lewis currently hold those seats.
Stephanie Duncan, executive director of the Havelock Chamber of Commerce, said she hopes residents will come out to learn a little more information about the candidates who may hold the key to the future of Havelock.
“So many times the local elections are overlooked,” Duncan said. “What is done locally in a municipality affects our pocketbooks. It affects us more than what is done at the state and federal level. This is where we live.”
Duncan said it’s important that people get involved and pay attention to what’s going on in their communities.
“These are the same people that are going to be developing ordinances that affect how businesses run, either esthetically or in other ways, like the stormwater regulations and how high water and sewer rates are going to be,” Duncan said. “These are the people that have to decide how well the fire department is funded and if they have the right equipment to put a fire out or if the police have the right equipment and manpower to deal with any crimes that might occur.”
Each candidate will have a one-minute introductory statement before the forum moves to a question-and-answer session. Candidates will have 90 seconds to answer each question, which Braaten will randomly select. Each candidate will have a 30-second rebuttal if wanted.
A minimum of six questions will be asked before each candidate is allowed a 90-second closing statement.
Light refreshments will be served at the event, which is free and open to the public.
The deadline to register to vote in the city election is Oct. 11. Early voting is scheduled to begin Oct. 17 and continue through Nov. 2. Election Day is Nov. 5. For more information, call the Board of Elections at 636-6610.
Drew C. Wilson is a reporter for the Havelock News.