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Tipsy Toad to host mayoral debate in Chapin

Chapin, SC (James Bowers) The Tipsy Toad Tavern has graciously agreed to host a mayoral debate for the candidates that have filed to run for the mayor of the town of Chapin. Steve Wall, the Toad's owner said that he felt that the public needed as many chances as possible to meet and hear from the people that would run Chapin in the coming years. Wall, a business owner in the town for many years, said that’s why he’s already hosted several of the candidates' meet and greets, and also why he’s offered to allow his business to be the location of the final organized campaign function.

During this debate, all three candidates will have an opportunity to let citizens hear from them on important issues. Candidates will also have some time for rebuttal, something that wasn’t allowed in the Woman’s Club event. That followed more of a candidate’s forum model. This debate will be held on Thursday, November 2 at 6:30 p.m. The Tipsy Toad is located at 103 Beaufort Street Suite C in Chapin.

The debate will be moderated by Paul Kirby, editor of The Lexington Ledger news, and host of the Good Morning Lexington County LIVE morning show. Kirby has moderated political debates before, and said he was honored to be asked by business leaders in Chapin to act as the moderator for this one.

Kirby said that the debate will focus on four key areas of a small town’s operation. They are:

1. Public Safety (In Chapin’s case, the police department only since fire and EMS are handled by Lexington County)

2. Finances (budgets, spending, checks and balances in town spending, etc.)

3. Utilities (both water & sewer)

4. Community events and improving the quality of life (parks & any recreation outside the ICRC)

In addition to these categories, each candidate will be allowed to ask one personal question to the other candidates. Kirby said that these questions are aimed at and are intended to stop any rumors that are going around. They would allow the candidates to confront head on any of the personal traits, character issues,or shortfalls that seem to have people so concerned around town.“Basically, if any mud is being slung, now’s the time to hit that head on and bring it out in the public,” Kirby said. “If someone, or their supporters, is talking behind someone’s back, now’s the time to man up and bring those issues to the attention of everyone. Then, the person being accused will have an opportunity to explain, admit, or dispel any of this talk.”

Kirby has said that he is not writing the questions for this debate, nor will any of the candidates be privileged to them prior to the event. “I have asked experienced town leaders from other Lexington County municipalities to help write questions that pertain to running a fast-growing town like Chapin. That way, the candidates are actually asked about issues that the mayor of a town can control and we won’t waste a lot of time on questions that the mayor simply has no influence or a hand in,” Kirby said. “We won’t spend a lot of time talking about streets, bridges, or roads because Chapin doesn’t own or maintain any of those. We will talk about water and sewer service, the police department, controlling spending and finances; topics that the mayor will have a day to day role in.”

There is a format and a certain decorum that Kirby says he will insist that each candidate follow. “This is a debate, not an argument,” Kirby said. “All of the candidates are adults, and all should be able to answer tough questions about running a town while keeping their emotions intact.”

If anyone has any questions about this debate, Kirby said that they are free to call him and he will arrange to sit and talk with them at his Chapin office. He can be reached at (803) 587-3144.

Each of the candidates has already been sent a copy of the format that we plan to follow, and two of the candidates have already agreed to attend. “We would hope that all three agree to come and openly discuss these important issues,” Kirby said. “If one decides he can’t attend, that’s certainly not a deal breaker. We’ll just have the debate with the two that were willing to come and answer the tough questions.”

The event is open to the public and all the citizens who can vote are urged to try and attend. “If someone is interested, they don’t have to be at the Toad in person,” Kirby said. “We are planning on streaming the event live over The Ledger’s Facebook page at facebook.com/swlexledger,” Kirby said.

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(803) 587-3144

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Call Paul Kirby

(803) 587-3144