Candidates for Southbridge school committee and town council will square off tomorrow, Saturday June 9th for a televised debate in advance of the June 26th town election.
The debate is being sponsored jointly by the Southbridge Democratic and Republican town committees. Charlton town moderator Peter Cooper, Jr. will act as moderator for the occasion.
It will be broadcast on Southbridge Cable TV channel 12 starting at 1 pm. The first session, lasting 90 minutes will feature the candidates for Southbridge school committee. This will be followed by a ninety minute debate among candidates for Southbridge town council beginning at 3 pm.
The following report of the planned format comes from Mike Jaynes’ Republican Town Committee website.
Southbridge Town Council and School Committee Debate Format
Debate format is the same for both debates.
Seating will be determined by candidates drawing, in alphabetical order by last name, a number for their seat assignment. Any candidates not present during the drawing will have a seat number drawn by a surrogate.
Each candidate will be given two minutes for an opening statement.
Each round will have a number of questions equal to the number of candidates participating. During a round each candidate will be asked a question drawn randomly from the available questions. The candidate being asked the question will have two minutes to respond to the question. Following the candidates response each other candidate will be given one minute to offer a response of their own. This will be in order of the next higher seat number until the highest seat number is reach and then the lowest seat number will follow. The next higher seat number order will continue until all candidates have been given a chance to respond.
The candidate to be asked the first question each round will be determined by drawing a number of the assigned seats with candidates. No candidate shall be asked the first question of a round in more than one round.
If a candidate references another candidate during their response, the moderator may, at his discretion, allow the referenced candidate an additional opportunity to rebut the statement.
Rounds will continue as time allows with the intent for the each debate to last one and a half hours in entirety.
Candidates will be given 3 minutes each for closing statements.