This content was originally published by the Longmont Observer and is licensed under a Creative Commons license.
*Correction: Longmont has three not two at-large seats on city council. Polly Christensen holds the third seat.
Following the Ward III debate between Regan Sample and Susie Hidalgo-Fahring, Observer debate moderator Shakeel Dalal announced the rules for this Saturday's At-Large debate.
Longmont City Council contains two at-large seats on the seven-member city council. At-large members are intended to represent the interests of all of Longmont on the city council rather than specific wards. Incumbent At-Large representative Councilwoman Joan Peck is up for reelection this year. Longmont's other at-large representative, Aren Rodriguez, was elected in 2017 and is not up for re-election until 2021. City council members are elected in odd-numbered years.
Because At-Large seats represent all of Longmont, any citizen residing in Longmont is eligible to run. This year, four people will be on the ballot:
The debate will be held this Saturday, September 21st at 3 p.m. at the Stewart Auditorium in the Longmont Museum.
The format for the At-Large debate will be structured differently to ensure that all candidates have the opportunity to share their views. Candidates were informed of the new rules prior to the publication of this article.
- Each candidate will be permitted a 2-minute opening and closing statement, in a randomly determined order.
- There will be 12 questions across the topic areas defined for the debates as previously described. The moderator may use his discretion to ask questions outside of the defined topics, as determined by current events.
- Each candidate will have 14 opportunities to speak over the course of the debate, each opportunity lasting 2 minutes.
- For each question, a randomly assigned candidate will be the first to respond to the question. This will not count towards the candidates' 14 speaking opportunities. Assignments will be made before the debate begins. Each candidate will receive an equal number of assignments to be the first to respond to a question.
- After the assigned candidate has made their 2-minute response, other candidates may use one of their 14 opportunities to speak. Opportunities are used by signaling the moderator that the candidate wishes to speak.
- No candidate may use more than 2 of their opportunities to speak on a single question.
- The candidate that is the first to respond to a question may also use up to 2 of their opportunities to speak on that question.
- For topics of particular interest, the moderator may at his discretion allow further discussion with or without counting them against each candidates' opportunities to speak. In this event, the moderator will provide all candidates with the opportunity to speak further.
- The moderator may, at his discretion, award all candidates an identical number of additional speaking opportunities that can be used in the remainder of the debate.
- Candidates are reminded that rude or uncivil language towards each other will not be tolerated.
- Time limits for each speaking opportunity will be strictly enforced.