Organizing the February 28 Candidate Forum for Village Trustee candidates

Index cards and a submission box are currently available at the Library for local residents to submit questions for the candidate forum. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Library to host; Journal to moderate; public invited to submit questions

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (February 20, 2023) – The Lansing Journal has been working with the Lansing Public Library to ensure that the Candidate Forum scheduled for 6 p.m. on February 28 is balanced and informational for Lansing residents. The forum is a unique opportunity for candidates to engage directly with Lansing voters.

Forum goals

Lansing Journal Managing Editor Josh Bootsma and Publisher Melanie Jongsma will serve as moderators of the forum. In planning the content and flow of this event, the Journal is keeping these goals in mind:

  • Give candidates room to describe their platform
  • Give candidates opportunity to distinguish themselves from competition
  • Inform voters of issues, and the options for addressing those issues

Forum participants

The February 28 Candidate Forum is limited to candidates in the race for Village Trustee. Four candidates are running for three open positions: Saad Abbasy, Rob Collins, Maureen Grady-Perovich, and Jerry Zeldenrust.

Forum content

The content of the forum will include questions submitted by Lansing Journal readers via the online form first shared on January 28, questions submitted in writing via a box at the library, and questions crafted by The Lansing Journal moderators. Not every candidate will answer every question.

Index cards and a submission box have been available at the library for residents to submit questions for the Candidate Forum. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Forum logistics

The library has one microphone and lectern that the candidates will use, and one microphone that the moderators will use. Candidates will be seated on the library stage, and each will step to the lectern when answering questions. Chairs will be positioned as close to the microphone as possible in order to minimize the time spent transitioning between questions and answers. The moderators will be seated at a table facing the stage and will take turns addressing the candidates with questions.

The standard time for each answer will be 60 seconds. A timer will be positioned so the candidates can see the time available to them while they are answering.

The library plans to Facebook Live the forum on their Facebook page, and they will keep the livestream there indefinitely. The Journal plans to shoot video of the forum as well, in the hope of publishing a summary video later in the week. A Journal reporter will also cover the event.

The Journal will provide name badges that show each candidate’s first name, last name, and party name, so that audience members and people who are watching the Facebook Live will know who is who.

Forum outline

Without providing specific questions, the Journal did offer the following outline to candidates in order to allow them as much preparation time as possible. The outline is somewhat subject to change as questions continue to come in from the public:

  • Welcome – Lisa Korajcyk
  • Introduction – Melanie Jongsma
  • Instructions – Josh Bootsma
  • Meet the candidates – 60 seconds each to describe yourself, your work, your family, etc.
  • Platform
  • Role of Trustee
  • Economic Development
  • Village Budget
  • Closing Statements

Forum location

The Lansing Public Library is located at 2750 Indiana Avenue in Lansing, Illinois. The candidate forum will take place on the second-floor main stage starting at 6 p.m.

Lansing Library
The Lansing Public Library is located at 2750 Indiana Avenue in Lansing, Illinois. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)