Meet Your City Commission Candidates forum to take place

BUCHANAN — With the midterm election less than three weeks away, Buchanan voters will have the opportunity to get to know their local commissioner candidates and ask them questions during a forum.

Meet Your City Commission Candidates will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. today, at the Buchanan Senior Center, 810 Rynearson St., in Buchanan. The event is free and open to the public to attend.

Alice Kring, a volunteer at the Buchanan Tin Shop and owner of Redbud Insurance, will be moderating the forum. Kring said she was asked to serve in the position because she could objectively moderate as a resident outside of the city voting district. She also has experience moderating commissioner forums in the past.

Alice Kring

“I was asked by some concerned Buchanan citizens to moderate this forum,” Kring said. “Since I don’t live in the city and have no vote, I said I would be happy to be the moderator again.”

At the forum, each candidate will be given a set amount of time to introduce themselves and share why they have chosen to run as commissioner. Residents will then have the chance to write down their questions. Kring will select questions used during the forum. Assuring that the event is conducted fairly is a main priority, Kring said.

“We just don’t want anybody personally trying to attack anybody,” Kring said. “[So] I will be the one asking the questions and keeping time.”

After the forum, Kring said residents will have the chance to mingle and talk personally with local candidates.   

All candidates running for the role as city commissioner were asked to participate. Kring said she is not sure if all candidates will be able to attend, but all were notified of the event. Commissioner candidates include incumbent Daniel Vigansky, Sean Denison, Cameron Downey; Chris Geisler, Spencer Miller Jr., Mark W. Weedon and Mayor Brenda Hess, who is set to resign from her role as mayor, pending the sale of her home. Hess has said in an earlier interview that it was too late to withdraw her name from the ballot, but has emphasized her intentions to step down. A new mayor will be selected by commissioners, following the election.

There are five total commissioners who function as the city’s governing board.

This election season, there are three commissioner seats open, including the mayor’s seat. Commissioner Vigansky and Mayor Pro Tem Carla Cole’s terms end in 2018. Cole has chosen not to run again.

Kring said the forum will be an ideal opportunity to share their concerns to potential city leaders.

“Some of the candidates, they live in the city but they do not work in the city and some don’t know them,” Kring said. “This gives the candidates and the community a chance to get to know them.”

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