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Local Candidates Face Off In “Debates” Tonight and Tomorrow

By on Oct 30 2013.
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Springfield Municipal Building

Springfield Municipal Building

The Springfield Patriot Chamber of Commerce and Springfield Hadassah are hosting their two annual “Meet the Candidates” forums to provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about the candidates running for Springfield Township Committee.  The events have been listed on the Springfielder.com Community Calendar.

The first is tonight, Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium of Jonathan Dayton High School.  Doors open at 7:00 p.m.  The second is a daytime program that will take place at the Springfield Free Public Library on Thursday, October 31, 2013 and starts at 11:30 a.m.  Doors open at 11:00 a.m.  A light lunch will follow.

The format at the forums has remained largely unchanged for many years.  The only change is the non partisan moderator selected by the hosts.  In previous years, the moderators have included former Jonathan Dayton High School Principal Dr. Charles Serson and former Springfield Patch Editor Adam Bulger.  Organizers stress that the events are not really billed as “debates” because of the format and to prevent a confrontational atmosphere.

The forum begins with each candidate introducing themselves within the allotted three minutes.  Questions are then asked of the candidates by the moderator.  Afterwards, each candidate will give a closing statement within the allotted two minutes.  The questions are submitted by the audience with the provided pens and forms.  They are screened by the Hadassah Community Affairs Committee to ensure questions are relevant to local matters.  Questions may be addressed to individual candidates or if not specified, the political party selects who will answer.  Responses are limited to one minute.  After answering the question, there will be an opportunity to provide a rebuttal also limited to one minute.

Four candidates are vying for two seats on the Township Committee.  The Springfield Township Committee is a five-member governing body with staggered three-year terms.  The Mayor is not directly elected by the voters but is typically selected from among the members of the Township Committee who hold the political majority.  The political party with at least three seats is considered to hold the majority.  With two seats expiring at the end of the year, the election can the tip the balance of power towards the Republicans once again or give the Democrats control of the Mayor’s seat for two more years.  Incumbents Mayor David Amlen and Deputy Mayor Rich Huber, Democrats, are challenged by former Deputy Mayor Jerry Fernandez and his running mate Diane Stampoulos, the Republicans.  In order for the Republicans to regain control of the Township Committee, both Fernandez and Stampoulos must win.  Otherwise, the Democrats will select a Mayor and it is rumored that either Richard Huber or David Barnett will be selected.

The forums are not recorded, live streamed or televised.  They are free to attend.


Which candidates for Township Committee are you voting for?

  • Jerry Fernandez (78%, 35 Votes)
  • Diane Stampoulos (64%, 29 Votes)
  • Richard Huber (24%, 11 Votes)
  • David Amlen (20%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 45

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