South Jacksonville Candidate Forum Format Announced

The following is the schedule and format for the upcoming South Jacksonville Candidate Forum, being held in the Village Hall Board Room on Monday, February 27th at 6:30PM. The public is encouraged to attend and participate.

6PM – South Jacksonville Village Hall Board Room will be opened to allow the public to take their seats. Seats are first-come, first served, and we cannot guarantee that all attendees will have a seat. Due to technology limitations, this event will not be able to be moved, if an overflow crowd is present. Standing room only crowd will be allowed, up to such a point deemed unsafe by event organizers and/or Village of South Jacksonville representatives who may be present.

Upon arrival, audience members are encouraged to use note cards left on seats in the room to write down questions that they would like to see the candidates answer. These questions are to be submitted to the Moderator (Colby Huff) by no later than 6:20PM to guarantee consideration by the panelists, who will ask those questions of the candidates. Audience members may choose not to put their names on their questions, if they would prefer to remain anonymous. Not all submitted questions will be asked by the panelists, due to time constraints.

6:15PM – Moderator will remind the audience that there are five minutes remaining to submit screened questions.

6:20PM – All submitted questions must be turned in to the Moderator. At this time, Moderator and panelists will review submitted questions and select a handful each to possibly ask of the candidates during the event.

6:30PM – Moderator will call the event to order, review the agenda, and begin the event with Candidate Opening Statements. The remainder of the event shall be as follows:

  • Opening statements – Each candidate will be given up to 90 seconds to introduce themselves, briefly highlight their reasons for running for office, thoughts about the current state of the Village, etc. This time will be allotted for the candidates to use as they see fit, but it will be a hard limit of 90 seconds in length, in order to stay on schedule. The first statement shall be given by the President candidates, beginning with whoever wins the seat designated as “#1” during the pre-event coin toss. The Trustee statements shall also begin with the individual who draws the seat designated as “#1”, which will be to the far left, as viewed by the audience.
  • Panelist and Audience submitted questions – During the opening segment, panelists will ask a mix of their own questions, along with those submitted prior to the event by audience members. These questions may be broad and directed to all candidates or focused on a single candidate or position. Candidates should limit their responses to ninety seconds, if possible. Limited brief extensions may be granted by the moderator, if necessary, but are not guaranteed. If time extension is not granted, the candidate should make a note of the question and consider revisiting it at a later point in the event.
  • Open Audience questions – Audience members will be invited to ask unscreened questions of the candidates, either single-candidate or position focused or to the group as a whole. Audience members will be instructed to keep their questions specific to Village operations, policies, or newsworthy happenings, and to avoid such questions that may be considered “personal attacks”.
  • Facebook Live questions – Throughout the event to this point, we will be monitoring the Facebook Live feed. Viewers of the video feed will have the opportunity to submit questions to be asked by the panelists during this segment. These questions may be either single-candidate or position focused or to the candidates as a group. Candidates should keep their answers to one minute in length. This segment will have hard cutoff times for answers.
  • Open Roundtable Discussion (Candidate-led) ­– The candidates shall participate in a roundtable discussion, asking questions of one another, with no panelist interruption. Moderator may interject, as needed, to move the discussion along. This segment shall be no more than 15:00 in length.
  • Candidate Closing Statements ­– Each candidate will have three minutes to summarize their thoughts from the evening, in whatever fashion they choose. This will be a hard cutoff time segment.

Due to time constraints, candidates will not be permitted “rebuttal” comments during the event, prior to the Open Roundtable Discussion. Candidates will be encouraged to take notes during the event and bring up any such comments during that discussion or their Candidate Closing Statement.


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