Revised Forum Guidelines

Citizens for a Fair Ferndale

Candidate Forum Policies and Procedures

Adopted 4/13/10 – Revised 8/9/2012

Citizens for a Fair Ferndale (CFF) will hold candidate and/or issues forums for any and all local (including city, county, and/or state) elections, including any and all offices and/or ballot questions, at the discretion of the CFF Forum Committee.  CFF recognizes that, due to volunteer time constraints, not all elections can be covered.  However, in an effort to provide as much information as possible to potential Ferndale voters, CFF will strive to cover a wide range of local elections, particularly those not already covered by the League of Women Voters.

To that end, CFF has promulgated the following policies and procedures, in an effort to provide clarity and uniformity in future Forums:

  • CFF Forums are not “debates.”  CFF hosts these Forums in order to educate the community so that viewers can make an informed decision.  Candidates will be provided the opportunity to state their own position on a variety of issues.  Candidates should refrain from commenting on the qualifications or positions of the other Candidates.  Personal attacks are, of course, not acceptable.
  • CFF Forums will include all elections for offices within the city of Ferndale, including uncontested races.
  • All candidates whose names will appear on the ballot for citywide elections and write-in candidates who have been properly approved by the City Clerk’s office will be invited to participate in CFF Candidate Forums.
  • CFF Forums may include local or statewide ballot questions, at the discretion of the Forum Committee.
  • When CFF holds a ballot question forum, representatives of any ballot question committees that have filed with Oakland County will be invited to participate in the Forum. In the event that no such committee has filed with the County, the CFF Forum Committee will use its discretion to invite Participants to represent the “yes” and “no” side of a ballot question.
  • The Moderator will be selected by the CFF Forum Committee.  The Committee will make every effort to choose a Moderator who does not have a deep personal interest in any Candidate.  The Moderator is not prohibited from promoting a Candidate in their free time, but should not be a member of any Candidate’s campaign, family member, or otherwise stand to personally gain by any Candidate’s election.
  • Prior to the Forums, candidates will be provided with a Questionnaire.  The Questionnaire contents will be uniform for candidates for a given office.  Candidates who provide written answers one week prior to the Forum will have their answers provided to the audience and posted on www.fairferndale.org.  Questionnaires will be accepted and distributed regardless of whether or not a Candidate attends the Forum.
  • CFF Candidate Forums will customarily be held on a Sunday afternoon 9 days prior to an election.  Date/time/location is subject to change; however, the Committee will make every effort to announce this information one month prior to the event.
  • Each Candidate is allowed to bring one piece of campaign material to distribute at the Forum – the material may not exceed one page (8 ½” x 11”).
  • Electronic devices may not be used by Candidates during a Forum.
  • Each Candidate will be allowed to make a 3-minute opening statement.
  • The Moderator will then facilitate questions from the audience, which each candidate will have 2 minutes to answer.  Questions will be offered round robin style.
  • Questions will be submitted in writing.  Questions are subject to omission at the discretion of the Forum Committee.
    • The audience will be given the following guidelines for questions: Questions must be focused on issues within the purview of the elected office (not personal or irrelevant issues).  Questions should be directed to all candidates; candidates should not be singled out.
    • Questions that do not conform with these guidelines may be omitted.
    • Questions may also be omitted or grouped according to subject matter by CFF Forum Committee Members, in order to avoid redundancy and to address related topics together, when possible.
  • If there are not enough questions from the audience to fill the allotted time, the Moderator will ask questions of their own discretion.
  • Candidates will be given 2 minutes at the end for closing remarks.

CFF welcomes participation by the community in these Forums.  Please contact us with your ideas on how CFF can better serve Ferndale through its Candidate Forums.

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