Amherst Town Board Candidate Forum Causing Controversy

Re: Candidate Forum
       Thursday October 12th, 5:30 pm 
       Amherst Town Hall, 5583 Main Street, Williamsville
       Rear Door Entrance in the Parking Lot
 
The Amherst Open Government Advisory Board was created by the Amherst Town Board through a local law to address issues regarding transparency, collaboration and citizen participation in Town government. A citizen pointed out to the Board that there are few opportunities for the public to ask candidates running for Town Board questions. It was suggested that perhaps the Open Government Board could assist with setting up a candidate forum where members of the public could ask the candidates questions.
The Open Government Board is a non-partisan group appointed by the Republican and Democratic members of the Amherst Town Board. After discussing the issue the Open Government Board unanimously agreed to turn their regularly scheduled October 12th meeting into a candidate forum to be held at Amherst Town Hall, which has the ability to video tape and post the recording online. All previous Open Government Board meetings have been recorded and posted online.
At the forum, each candidate will be given the opportunity to make a two minute opening statement, answer audience questions with responses limited to one minute, the forum will end with each candidate making a two minute closing statement.
All seven candidates that are on the November ballot running for three Town Board seats have been invited to attend the forum, scheduled for Thursday October 12th, 5:30 pm at Amherst Town Hall. Upcoming meeting notices are typically posted on the Town website so that the public knows what meetings are coming up. The Candidate Forum was posted online on October 6th, just as previous Open Government meetings have. For some reason, the meeting notice and agenda have now been removed from the Town website. This was discovered on the evening of October 11th. When the information was removed is unknown. Who directed the removal of the information from the town website is also unknown.
Will the Candidate forum be allowed to happen tonight in the Amherst Town Board meeting room at 5583 Main Street in Williamsville? Will the Candidate Forum be videotaped or has the plug been pulled on that and if so who made that decision?
The fact that there has been such difficulty over simply giving the public an opportunity to learn about the candidates running for Amherst Town Board and giving citizens the opportunity to ask the candidates questions is truly amazing!

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