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Political candidates part of Aug. 5 forum

By By Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Candidates for Hartselle’s mayoral and council positions will be put to the test of responding to questions before a live audience Aug. 5, at a public forum sponsored by the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce. The event will be held at Sparkman Civic Center at 6:30 p.m.
Each of the 12 candidates will be asked the same questions; however, no candidate will be aware of how his opponent or opponents answered a given question. Candidates will be separated from the audience and will follow each other at the speaker’s podium in alphabetical order. Each candidate will have two minutes to make introductory remarks and each will be given four questions to answer. Questions for mayoral and council candidates will differ.
Several local issues are expected to be included in the questions. These include an elected vs. appointed school board, the funding of a proposed new high school, pubic nuisance abatement, infrastructure improvements and business development.
The forum will include a 45-minute “meet and greet” period beginning at 5:30 p.m. During this time the candidates will be invited to mix and mingle with voters and hand out campaign cards and other literature.
The candidates invited to participate in the forum are: Incumbent Mayor Dwight Tankersley and two challengers, Mike Dowdy and Terry Miller; Place 2 Councilman Bill Smelser and challenger A.D. Hargrove; Place 3 Councilman Mark Mizell and challengers Ronald Hammon and Bill Partridge; Place 4 Councilman Bill Drake and former councilman Tom Chappell; and Place 5 Councilman Samie Wiley and former councilman Don Hall.
Place 1 Councilman and Council President K.T. “Kenny” Thompson has no opposition and will not participate in the forum.
The forum will be moderated by Jeremy Nails, executive director of the Morgan County Economic Development Association. Bro. Jerry Smith will give the invocation and Hartselle Cub Scouts will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

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