Easthampton Campaign Notebook: Debates for mayoral and City Council candidates scheduled, Wednesday is deadline to register to vote
EASTHAMPTON — Easthampton mayoral hopefuls and candidates battling it out for at-large seats on the City Council will meet at debates Thursday and again Oct. 24.
The Easthampton Mayoral Candidate Forum, the third mayoral debate in the city this campaign season, will take place at Easthampton High School’s auditorium Thursday at 7 p.m., sponsored by the Easthampton Democratic Committee with help from the high school and School Committee.
Meanwhile, the only scheduled debate for at-large City Council candidates is set for Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. in City Council chambers at 50 Payson Ave. That debate is co-sponsored by the Democratic Committee and Easthampton Community Access Television, or ECAT.
The two-hour forum planned for Thursday will mark the second time all four candidates for mayor will meet to debate. They are Karen L. Cadieux, 59, of 11 Deerfield Drive, assistant to the mayor; David G. Ewing, 64, of 5 Treehouse Circle, a Yankee Candle employee; and Herbert M. Glazier, 85, of 108 Everett St., a retired contractor; Nancy L. Sykes, 72, of 32 Mutter St., School Committee chairwoman.
Joseph P. McCoy, a member of the Democratic Committee and an incumbent in the at-large councilor race, said the debate will be moderated by School Committee member Peter Gunn and the questions will be posed by Mary Serreze of WHMP-AM radio and Diane Lederman of the Republican newspaper.
After each candidate gives a two-minute opening statement, reporters will ask each candidate two questions they’ve been given in advance. Each candidate will also answer four questions they have not seen ahead of time, two of which are general questions and two are candidate-specific. Candidates will have two minutes to answer and one minute to rebut.
For the last half hour, candidates will answer questions from the audience and EHS students. McCoy said audience members may submit proposed questions which will be screened and read to the candidates by EHS teacher Kelley Brown and student volunteers.
A week later, on Oct. 24, the seven candidates running for four at-large councilor seats will debate at the Municipal Building. ECAT Station Manager Kathy Lynch said that the debate portion of the event is only for the contested at-large positions.
“It’s exciting because it’s the first time in a number of years that we’ve had a real race for City Council,” Lynch said.
The candidates running for at-large seats are incumbents Nathaniel P. Ziegler, 39, of 58 Maple St.; Chester A. Ogulewicz Jr., 58, of 18 Sandra Road; Donald L. Cykowski, 75, of 86 Pomeroy St.; and Joseph P. McCoy, 55, of 11 Clapp St.; and challengers Donald C. Emerson, 66, of 459 East St.; James “J.P.” Kwiecinski, 60, of 47 Hannum Brook Drive; and Tamara L. Smith, 40, of 103 Strong St.
Lynch said the five running unopposed for district councilor seats will have an opportunity to make a two- minute statement to their constituents at the event.
Incumbents seeking re-election are District 1 Councilor Daniel C. Hagan, 63, of 24 Highland Ave.; District 3 Councilor Joy E. Winnie, 54, of 157 Holyoke St.; District 4 Councilor Salem Derby, 39, of 15 West View Terrace; and District 5 Councilor Daniel D. Rist, 61, of 38 Plain St. Newcomer Jennifer A. Hayes, 43, of 116 Pleasant St., Apt. 414, is running unopposed for the District 2 seat to be vacated by Councilor Justin P. Cobb.
Lynch said she is still determining the number of questions and format details. The questions are being submitted by local reporters, EHS students and the public. Anyone interested in submitting a question can do so by emailing Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The debate will be moderated by Democratic Committee Chairman Ray Drewnowski.