ALTON – East End Improvement Association (EEIA) announced that it will have a Candidate’s Forum at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, at the Atrium Hotel on College Avenue in Alton.

The forum moderator will be EEIA Board Member Steve Schwartz.

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Schwartz is coordinating the debate night with John Keller. Schwartz said for those interested in Alton politics, this will be an event for them to attend.

“We are going to have all the alderman and mayoral candidates,” he said. “They will be able to talk about what they are going to do and why they should be elected and the mayoral candidates will have questions they will respond to.

Candidates running for aldermanic seats will be introduced in numeric order – Ward 1 through Ward 7. Candidates with opposition will be given 3 minutes to introduce themselves and speak regarding their qualifications, reasons for running and why they should be elected.

Aldermanic candidates running unopposed will then be introduced. All candidates will be available for questions at the conclusion of the forum. Citywide candidates will then be introduced. Since the treasurer and clerk positions are unopposed, they will be introduced and available for questions afterward.

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In addition, mayoral candidates will be given up to 2 minutes each to respond to specific questions submitted by the audience and screened by an impartial committee of the EEIA.

The East End Improvement Association announced that, Advantage News, The Telegraph and WBGZ Radio will sponsor and partner with the organization for the event.

East End Improvement Association has existed since the 1850s and is a Charitable 501c3, known as the East End Foundation. Noted community projects for EEIA are the Alton Memorial Day Parade, Alton Halloween Parade, awarding two annual scholarships to graduating high school seniors, Pride Bucket Brigade, Salvation Army bell ringing and working the Christmas Wonderland at Rock Springs Park. EEIA has also partnered with the North Alton/Godfrey Business council on the Benjamin Godfrey Legacy Trail.

As in past EEIA Candidate Forums, all comments and responses to the questions will be directed by a “stoplight system.” A “green” light will be on until 30 seconds remain at which time the “yellow” light will show. The “red” light will come on to show the candidate’s time has expired. Mayoral candidates will be available to answer questions at the conclusion of the forum.

Schwartz said East End Improvement Association does a lot to support the region each year, but he said he believes this will be one of the group’s biggest events of the year.

“It’s a very important election for Alton,” he said. “I think it is very important for the future of Alton and the whole Riverbend area.”

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