On Monday, Oct. 29, local residents and students filed into the Geneva Room and filled its seats for the fifth President’s Forum event of the semester, “A Conversation with Mayoral Candidates. President Mark D. Gearan, introducing the candidates and welcoming the audience, said that although there had been presidential candidates at President’s Forum events, this was the first hosting local mayoral candidates. He said that when he invited the three candidates to the “conversational, less structured but substantive event, all readily agreed.
Candidates Philip Beckley (Republican-Conservative), Donald Cass (Independence Party), and Robert “Stu Einstein (Democratic and Good Government) were welcomed by the audience before the question-and-answer session began. Questions were sent by e-mail and submitted by audience members, ranged from the financial concerns of the city and the development of the lakefront, to the most frustrating part of the campaign — which all three agreed was the distance between voters and their local government officials.
A major point of the discussion centered on ways the city could increase revenue and savings. Beckley proposed a more active and collaborative role for the city and the Town of Geneva and a regular dialogue between them, to increase efficiency and improve efforts toward mutual goals. The incumbent, Cass, cited the current successful ways of increasing revenue, such as hotel occupancy tax and sales tax, in addition to asking non-profit organizations for donations in lieu of taxes. Einstein elaborated on this by stating that the city officials need to initiate that conversation with the non-profits to expedite that process. He also suggested more collaboration with Town of Geneva officials.
The Forum lasted just over an hour was broadcast live on the Colleges’ radio station, WEOS-FM. For more information about the candidates, visit Candidates.
The next President’s Forum will feature Wendy Puriefoy ’71, president of the Public Education Network, starting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 in the Geneva Room.
For details on Puriefoy or the event, visit here.