Fayette has instituted a virtual ask-the-candidate forum so voters in the rural town can bring their questions directly to the candidates and get answers.
Those questions and the answers will start appearing Monday on the town’s website, www.fayettemaine.org.
“We have over 300 Fayette households who are on our email list, so it seemed like a reasonable idea to create a forum where people can ask a question of the candidates,” said Town Manager Mark Robinson.
It’s also a way to showcase the candidates’ ideas in Fayette’s first local school board race in more than a decade. Four people seek two seats on the Fayette School Committee. The incumbents are Richard Darling, currently chairman of the school committee, and Elaine Wilcox, librarian at the town’s Underwood Memorial Library. Challenging them for the two three-year seats are two educators Katherine Ayer, an art teacher who formerly worked at Fayette Central School, and Rachael Holland, who works for the Gardiner school system.
Election day is Tuesday, June 10, and Robinson said absentee ballots are expected to be available at the Town Office next week.
A meet-the-candidates night will be offered as well, Robinson said, but that will be scheduled much closer to the election.
“Typically we hold a candidates night, but it’s usually very lightly attended by the electorate,” he said.
On the virtual forum, Robinson will serve as moderator and filter, receiving the questions in his email and directing them to any or all of the candidates.
“It’s something we first experimented with in the community survey over the school issue,” Robinson said. “It’s a good way to give candidates questions from the electorate so they can respond from the comfort of their own homes, and it gives them time to give a thoughtful response.”
Fayette voted recently to split with Winthrop schools, the only other entity in the Alternative Organizational Structure 97, and operate its own district.
Robinson credited Clarissa-Jean Herrin, deputy clerk and treasurer, with assisting with the website postings.
The website link also says residents can ask questions of the two selectmen running unopposed for re-election, Berndt Graf and Joseph Young.