Friday morning I attended the Middletown Board of Education’s Candidate Forum at Panera Bread in Middletown. This last of three forums was hosted by Stephanie Murray of the Middletown Mornings organization. When I got there Friday morning I didn’t quiet know what to expect in the respect of turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised to see over thirty people in attendance.
Ms. Murray opened the forum by having each candidate take a minute and a half to introduce themselves and explain why they felt they should be elected to the BOE this year.
Six of the seven candidates were in attendance and in order of their opening remarks are:
Chris Aveta, who is running on the same ticket as Mascone and Brand was not in attendance Friday morning.
I recorded the meeting in its entirety and was going to break it all down into individual questions and answers, but because I have been hit with some kind of “Bug” that attacked me late Friday night and have been in bed since, I have decided just to post the whole recording.
It runs for 46 minutes but seems to play faster than that. The meeting was fast paced and kept all of those there engaged.
For me the only real news that came out of the forum was that each candidate agreed that the this years school budget should be passed by voters on Tuesday. Failure to pass the budget would only mean more drastic cuts that would penalize students and teachers alike.
After the forum was over I mingled amongst the crowd and spoke to a few candidates. I had a very nice conversation with Mike Mascone and Vinnie Brand, both of whom were polite and cordial but who took exception with me for my earlier blog post that accused them and their running mate Chris Aveta of being lap dogs for Middletown Deputy Mayor Tony Fiore and the Middletown GOP.
Each profess that they had only met Fiore no more than three times and wouldn’t even recognize him if the saw him in the street, which I took with a grain of salt put didn’t pursue.