While the Historic St. Augustine Council of the St Johns County Chamber of Commerce and the Neighborhood Council of St Augustine cancelled their candidate forums because of Hurricane Matthew, one local residential group says their forum tomorrow night will go on as planned.
The group, known as “300 Concerned Citizens”, are voters in the City of St Augustine who are interested in the outcome of three seats on the city commission. Two years ago, they organized to unseat four-term mayor Joe Boles, saying that the Lincolnville and minority population in the city was not being heard. Boles was unseated and current mayor, Nancy Shaver, acknowledged that 300 votes could have easily changed the outcome of the election.
“We know that the election will not be postponed, so we must move forward with the scheduled 2016 Candidate Forum,” St Paul’s AME Pastor Ron Rawls told local reporters. “We need to ensure that we are informed and prepared for early voting, which begins October 24, 2016.”
Unlike other candidate debates and forums, after the questions have been answered, the audience will be balloted and the top vote-getters will receive the endorsement of the group. Rather than dilute their individual voting strength, they will amplify it through a voluntary pledge to vote in unison for the candidate in each of the three races who makes the strongest showing on the issues most important to the group.
If you plan to attend, the meeting and forum will be held at the St Paul’s AME Church, located at 85 Martin Luther King Avenue in St Augustine on Thursday, October 13th at 6:30 p.m. All registered voters in the City of St Augustine are welcome to attend and join the group, if they are interested. Members of 300 Concerned Citizens will vote after the forum closes.