I now have clarification from the Chamber of Commerce about their event on 4 October 2016.
Let me say at the outset that I am very grateful that the Chamber has taken this initiative.
I am told the event is not a debate and has not been advertised as such. It is a question and answer session.
Two people will be running things - Steve Hinder and Neil Moore. I am advised they will simply take written questions from the audience and read them out.
This is, indeed, a very circumscribed role.
I am assuming there will be “rules of engagement”. There will be seven candidates on stage. Will they all have an opportunity to answer every question? What criteria will be used to select questions? Will questions from the audience directed at a particular named candidate be ruled out of order? And so on and so forth. The permutations are endless.
Steve Hinder is a man of many fine qualities but, clearly, he is not disinterested in the outcome. Far from it. He tells us he wants to move to Newmarket’s “enhanced” downtown.
“I think this project (ie the Clock Tower) will continue to enhance the downtown by adding people to support the local retail and restaurants. Great for economic development. I want to move there myself.”
I fear Mr Hinder is putting himself in an exposed position – even if he does nothing more than read out questions metronomically with a face wiped clean of any expression.