The Rancho Mirage City Council Candidate Forum scheduled to air live on KNWZ-AM/FM  has been postponed after four of the six candidates declined the invitation.

All three incumbents on the Rancho Mirage City Council – G. Dana Hobart, Iris Smotrich and Charles Townsend Vinci — had previously declined the invitation to participate in a candidate forum to air live on KNWZ-AM/FM.

All three challengers – Michael Harrington, Robert “Bob” Mueller and Katherine “Kate” Spates — had agreed to participate in the “Rancho Mirage Candidate Forum,” which was scheduled to be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday March 22. Mueller pulled out Friday saying he had a scheduling conflict.

Joni Almy, executive coordinator for the city of Rancho Mirage, on Thursday told David Nola, general sales manager/national sales manager, that due to calendar conflicts none of the three incumbents will be attending the forum.

“Today we had Robert Mueller pull out due to a schedule conflict,” Nola told Uken Report on Friday. “Along with the three incumbents not participating we are going to postpone the forum.”

Whether it will be rescheduled is unclear.

This program was designed to give all candidates who choose to participate a five-minute or so “live” on-air interview with the afternoon hosts of Hot Talk, Rich Gilgallon and Paul Cashin, said David Nola, general sales manager/national sales manager.

“I believe it is important to hold this forum for several reasons,” Nola had told Uken Report.

First, this election, while only for a small city Rancho Mirage, has valley wide implications.

Second, he said, “There has been a lot of false or misleading information out there and we believe as a news/talk station we can help clear that up by offering the candidates a forum where they can express their positions to the audience.

Third, Nola said, “I believe it is our responsibility as a “Local” News/Talk station to keep our listeners informed of the issues and concerns that affect their daily lives. I have personally been in both radio and television for the past 25 years,” Nola said. “Holding a forum like this will be central to what we do as a Local News/Talk station. We will be covering the other local elections this year as well.”

The only other candidate forum during this election cycle was hosted by the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce.

Ballots started arriving in registered Rancho Mirage voters’ mailboxes this week.