A candidate forum held Monday evening, Oct. 3, 2011 invited six candidates for two seats on the Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) board of education to make brief statements and share their answers to five questions.
Simone Lightfoot draws a number out of the hat, held by League of Women Voters member Judy Mich, to determine speaking order. From left to right (front to back): Albert Howard, Ahmar Iqbal, Patrick Leonard, Simone Lightfoot, Larry Murphy, Andy Thomas. (Photos by the writer.)
Candidates were asked about bullying, their candidacies, technology, transportation, and partnerships between AAPS and other entities. The forum was sponsored by the local League of Women Voters, and broadcast live from the studio at Community Television Network (CTN).
The video can be re-played online through CTN’s video-on-demand service.
League member Susan Greenberg opened the forum, introducing the six school board candidates – Albert Howard, Ahmar Iqbal, Patrick Leonard, Larry Murphy, and incumbents Simone Lightfoot, and Andy Thomas.
Election Day is Nov. 8. Voters will be asked to choose up to two candidates to serve four-year terms on the seven-member board. Board members not standing for election this time around are: Deb Mexicotte, Glenn Nelson, Irene Patalan, Christine Stead and Susan Baskett.
Greenberg explained that the League of Women Voters is open to all citizens over the age of 18, male and female, and referred the public to the League website for membership information. She added that one purpose of the League is to assist voters in making informed choices at the polls, and as such, it holds forums such as this one.
Finally, Greenberg noted that the questions for Monday’s forum were selected by a committee of League members from suggestions sent in by the community, and introduced forum moderator Judy Mich.
Mich welcomed “viewers, voters, and candidates” and provided some information on how the forum would be conducted. She explained that the League’s policy is to alternate the person who first responds to a new question, and then allow each of the other candidates to respond to the same question. For the opening and closing statements, candidates drew numbers to determine their speaking order.
Candidate responses are presented in the order in which they were given. For previous Chronicle coverage of the candidates, including more about their backgrounds, see: “Forum for Six AAPS Candidates” [Full Story]