Woodstock City Council candidates to participate in forum Wednesday

Forum is open to the public

The Woodstock Opera House on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022. Woodstock has come into millions of dollars thanks to both a state grant and money it won last year as part of the T-Mobile contest. As a result, the city is undertaking a variety of projects around town, predominantly in the downtown area.

Eight of the nine candidates running for Woodstock City Council are expected to attend a forum Wednesday night at the Woodstock Opera House.

The Woodstock Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry will host the forum, which is slated to start at 6 p.m. and is open to the public, Chamber President Brad Ball said Tuesday. It will be moderated by Woodstock Independent Editor Larry Lough.

The lone candidate who will not be in attendance will be Wendy Barker, who Ball said had travel plans already scheduled. The candidates attending include Darrin Flynn, Thomas West, Bryson Calvin, Mark Indyke, Melissa McMahon, Joe Starzynski, Natalie Ziemba and Crystal Squires.

With a crowded field of candidates, Ball said the forum will provide an opportunity to hear from candidates on a variety of topics, but may not allow for the candidates to go as deep on the issues.

We’re hoping to give each candidate about a minute to answer a question.

—  Woodstock Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Brad Ball

Still, with the event slated to last two hours, Ball said he thinks candidates will be asked between eight and 12 questions. However, since none of the candidates have been prepped on the questions, he declined to elaborate further on what those questions are.

The questions were prepared by both Ball and Lough, Ball said.

“We’re hoping to give each candidate about a minute to answer a question,” Ball said.

With about two weeks left before the April 4 election, Ball said he hopes the forum will provide an opportunity for residents to follow up and learn more about the candidates they are interested in.

Woodstock has three seats up for grabs in April, with Flynn the sole incumbent running. The other two incumbents, Lisa Lohmeyer and Wendy Piersall, said in November they were not planning on running again.