It is generally no easy task for voters in these municipal elections to choose between qualified candidates. In many cases, the voters themselves may not know the candidates, and more still may not have the chance to ask them pointed questions about important issues.
This is where our civic organizations have stepped in and given the citizens the opportunity to do just that, by hosting candidate forums.
On Thursday, candidates will attend the Moody Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon at City Hall. The Leeds Area Chamber of Commerce has a similar event planned for Tuesday at 6 p.m.; in Pell City, the Kiwanis Club will host a forum Aug. 21.
At all of these forums, candidates will have the opportunity to answer anonymous questions from citizens. Citizens should take care to ask the right types of questions, to find out the competence and commitment of their officials.
Can they run an efficient city? Can they make effective changes? Will they remain committed to the principles of open government?
We applaud those civic organizations who are providing such a valuable service to their citizens. Only good things can come from an open forum.