Candidates for a single seat open on the Pleasanton City Council will face off tonight at a community forum being hosted by the Pleasanton Weekly.
The forum comes none too soon. The Alameda County Registrar has mailed ballots to registered voters in Pleasanton which now can be sent back to the Registrar's office at any time. Ballots must be received by Election Day, May 7. Postmarks won't count.
This is the first time that Pleasanton balloting will be by mail only. There will be no polling places to go to.
The four candidates seeking election and who will participate in tonight's forum are Mark Hamilton, David Miller, Kathy Narum and Olivia Sanwong.
The forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. Doors to the Civic Center, located at 200 Old Bernal Ave., will open at 6 p.m. with refreshments available in advance of the session.
Those attending the forum will be given cards as they enter, which they can use to write out their questions of individual or all candidates. The moderators of the forum, Gina Channell-Allen, publisher of the Pleasanton Weekly, and editor Jeb Bing, will then ask the candidates to answer those questions along with others they also have prepared. The candidates will not see the questions in advance.
Candidates will have 2 minutes each for brief opening statements and another 90 seconds for closing remarks.
Questions for individual or for all of the candidates may also be sent by email to email@example.com.
The council vacancy occurred when Councilman Jerry Thorne was elected mayor last November, leaving two years to go of his unexpired term as councilman. The candidate chosen to succeed him on the council May 7 will serve until the 2014 municipal election, and can also seek re-election to that post for a four-year term.
The Pleasanton Weekly will make its endorsement for one of the candidates after the April 9 forum, to be published in the April 12 print edition of the newspaper and online that day.
Tonight's forum will be videotaped by Tri-Valley Community Television for broadcasts scheduled to start tomorrow. The broadcast schedule follows:
Wednesday, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., TV Channel 28.
Thursday, 3 p.m., TV 28, and 11 p.m., TV30.
Friday, 9 a.m., TV28.
Saturday, noon, TV28.
Sunday, 5 p.m., TV30, and 7 p.m., TV28.
The Candidates Forum broadcast may also be shown at additional times as TV30's schedule permits, said Melissa Tench-Stevens, Tri-Valley Community Television's executive director.