If you are planning to attend the Rancho Mirage City Council Candidate Forum on Thursday, Feb. 22, you might want to get there early. Only 350 seats are available and will be awarded on a first-come basis.
Beyond that, bring your indoor voices and best behavior as the audience will be directed to remain quiet. That is according to the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce, the host of the event. The forum begins at 6 p.m. at the Rancho Mirage Public Library, 71-100 Highway 111.
Candidates are not allowed to campaign in any way, including, but not limited to distribution of literature.
“This is not a debate and participants will not be given time for rebuttal,” Samantha Tweddell, executive director of the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce, said in a letter to candidates. “Participants are asked to stay on topic, time allowed and refrain from personal attacks. The audience will be directed to remain quiet, and any outbursts or inappropriate behavior will result in their immediate removal.”
At 5:50 p.m. a random draw will be conducted in public view for order of sequence. All candidates will have the opportunity to answer each question. Each participating candidate will have the opportunity to be first to answer a question.
Each candidate will have the opportunity to make a one-minute opening statement and a one-minute closing statement.
Questions have been prepared in advance and will include those submitted by residents/business community by prior open solicitation, and vetted by the committee, to be read by the moderator.
Participants are the six candidates vying for three seats on the Rancho Mirage City Council in the April elections. There are three incumbents and three challengers. Incumbents are G. Dana Hobart, Charles Townsend Vinci and Iris Smotrich. The challengers are Katherine “Kate” Spates, Robert “Bob” Mueller and Michael Harrington. Each of the three open seats is a four-year term.
The election is an all-mail ballot.