Editorial: 2016 Candidates take note

southington-politicsEvery year, The Observer offers the candidates an opportunity to address the issues—based on questions we have crafted—for the benefit of the readers.

Typically, we address our offer privately to the candidates, either directly or through the local party chiefs, but during state campaigns this process has proven hit or miss. This year, we are making the offer public, so the candidates will read it in the paper…or their contacts will poke them to get it done.

The three questions for our state representative and state senate hopefuls are (with variations for incumbents or challengers):

Question 1: There has been a lot of discussion the past year about the economic situation in Connecticut. For the Democrats, since they hold the governor’s office and the General Assembly, what things have been done and are in the pipeline that have improved or will improve the situation and how would you push the efforts even further?

For the Republicans, what has been done incorrectly? If the Republicans take the majority in Hartford, what would you do to improve the state’s economic situation?

Question 2: The past few months has seen discussion about property tax reform in Connecticut—with the Connectiticut Conference of Municipalities putting its weight behind reform. First of all, do you think the state is in need of reform… secondly, why do you feel that way?

Question 3: Aside from the above questions, what do you see as the single biggest issue facing the state in the next two years? How would you like it addressed?

Since space is limited, we are going to limit the length of the responses to these questions. Candidates will be allotted a pool of 750 words. This is not 750 words for each question but the total for all three. This means if the candidate writes 500 words for one answer, they will only have 250 words left total to answer the remaining two questions.

The candidates have the option of not answering a question to focus their 750 words on one topic. However, readers will note that the candidate didn’t feel the other questions were a priority.

Candidates have until Oct. 6 to respond so we can run their replies in the Oct. 13 and Oct. 20 issues, leaving Oct. 27 for any necessary rebuttals. Email us at jgoralski@southingtonobserver.com, along with a preferred hi-res headshot. A confirmation email will be sent. If you don’t receive a confirmation, please reach out.

Election-related letters from our readers

The deadline for any election-related letters is Thursday, Oct. 27 at noon.

Due to space considerations this year, letters are limited to 350 words. There will be no exceptions. Additionally, given our experience with the volume of letters in the past, and space considerations, we reserve the right not to publish every letter in the printed version of The Observer.

We will strive to be balanced in how we determine who to run and who not to run, which is based on practicality—there is only so much physical space in a newspaper—rather than an attempt to silence any viewpoints.

We will try to publish the letters that do not make the printed version of The Observer on our website, www.SouthingtonObserver.com. However, again, it depends on the volume.

Finally, everything submitted is expected to follow our policies on letters to the editor.

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