TPS board candidates to meet at Oct. 22 debateWritten by Justin R. Kalmes | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo Free Press will host a debate for candidates running for the Toledo Public Schools Board of Education at 6 p.m. Oct. 22 inside the McMaster Center at the Main Library of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library system.
Other media outlets partnering with the newspaper will be FOX Toledo, WUPW-TV 36, WTOD-AM Supertalk 1560 and Glass City Jungle, an Internet blog site that focuses on local news run by Toledoan Lisa Reneé Ward.
Five of the six declared candidates have confirmed their participation in the event. Former Toledo Mayor Jack Ford did not return phone calls or e-mails seeking his participation at press time.
Two seats on the five-member board are up for grabs on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Richard Brown, 33, an auditor with the City of Toledo, said in a prepared statement his work as a financial management professional could help a district that is facing financial challenges.
“This forum will give voters the opportunity to learn more about our experience and our vision for the district’s future,” Brown said.
Freelance graphic/Web designer Cheryl Catlin, 46, said she looks forward to discussing crucial issues that face the school district and talking about her campaign platform.
“Our community needs to have a conversation about what quality education looks like, and we need to to ensure the future for our children,” Catlin said.
Harold Mosley, a patrolman in the Toledo Police Department’s special victims unit, said he hopes to demonstrate to the public why his professional experience makes him the best choice for the board.
“I think the debate provides us all with a forum for people to see us side by side and hear what it is that we can bring to the table,” said Mosley, 50. “Based on the debate, they should be able to make a well-informed decision as to who they might vote for.”
Chris Myers, 32, Webmaster for the University of Michigan School of Education, said it is important voters familiarize themselves with the candidates before making their picks for the board. Myers unsuccessfully ran for the board in 2005 under the “3 for Change” platform along with current board members Darlene Fisher and Robert Torres.
“Toledo needs good school board members to have good public schools,” Myers said. “I want to be up there because I want to give voters the opportunity to hear my ideas and suggestions to improve the school system.”
Lisa Sobecki, 40, is a full-time mother and chairwoman of the Toledo Public Schools Parent Congress. She said in a statement her experience as the parent of a child in the TPS system makes her a qualified candidate.
“I understand the challenges our district faces and I recognize the need for concerned citizens to respond to those challenges,” she said. “I look forward to bringing my message for change to this forum.”
The Oct. 22 debate will be a free event, but tickets will be required for entry. Details on ticket availability will be announced in early October. Toledo Free Press Editor in Chief Michael S. Miller and FoxToledo anchors Laura Emerson and Karl Rundgren will moderate the debate, which will be hosted by WTOD morning show host Tom Watkins.
“Every one of the participating candidates immediately committed to the debate,” Miller said. “They recognize how important it will be to distinguish themselves to the voters.”