Chamber to host TC candidate forum

BLYTHEWOOD – Candidates for the Blythewood Town Council will be on the hot seat Monday, Oct. 30, from 7 – 9 p.m., when they participate in a candidate debate at The Manor at Doko Meadows, the town’s community and event center.

Mike Switzer announced at the September Town Council meeting that the Chamber of Commerce would be hosting the event as it has the last couple of years.

“As for the questions asked of the candidates, will there be community involvement? Can the residents send in questions or will the Chamber make up the questions?” Mayor J. Michael Ross asked Switzer.

“We’ll put out a press release about that and ask for any input,” Switzer said.

In past Chamber forums, the questions had to be submitted directly to the Chamber in advance and were sometimes changed or tweaked by Switzer or other Chamber members organizing the debate. The audience has not been allowed to ask questions at the from the floor to the candidates.

The election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 7, with all precincts in this election located at Blythewood Recreation Center, 126 Boney Road in Blythewood. Candidates include Donald Brock (Planning Commissioner), Bryan Franklin (Chairman, Planning Commission), Larry Griffin (Incumbent) and Michelle Kiedrowski (Planning Commission). Courtney Leavitt of Cobblestone Park declared his candidacy but has since withdrawn.

In a prepared statement issued on Tuesday, Leavitt wrote, “It is with a heavy heart that I share with you my decision to withdraw from the town council race. With my current work environment and commitments to external activities, I feel as if I would not be able to give full effort towards Blythewood, and the town council seat. Perhaps in the future I will not be so worn thin and would be able to effectively contribute 100% of my efforts to the town.”

To find out the qualifications and process to vote via absentee ballot, go to www.scvotes.org or call 803-576-2240.