Candidate forum set

Published 8:35 pm Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Sierra Club will hold a candidate forum later this month to examine the stances of City Council candidates on environmental issues affecting Suffolk.

“It gives us a chance to get to know the positions of the candidates and inform the public on their positions,” said Randie Trestrail, a member of the executive committee of York River Group of the Sierra Club. “It’s to educate people on local environmental issues.”

Trestrail said all of the candidates have been invited to the forum, which will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at King’s Fork Middle School, 350 Kings Fork Road.

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Trestrail said the Sierra Club has hosted candidate forums before on the Peninsula, and they are usually well attended.

This year, they decided to have one in Suffolk, as well, because of the number of environmental issues affecting Suffolk lately.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, water quality and the development buffer surrounding local waterways are all of concern to the Sierra Club, Trestrail said.

“We really want to take the time to educate people on the pipeline, because I’m not sure everybody is aware of what’s going on with that,” Trestrail said.

The Sierra Club’s is officially opposed to the pipeline.

Trestrail said the Nansemond River Preservation Alliance will be represented at the forum, as it also has concerns about the city’s water quality efforts.

Trestrail said candidates at the forum will have two minutes to present their environmental platforms, followed by selected questions from the audience. Only questions of an environmental nature will be allowed, Trestrail said.

The Sierra Club will issue endorsements based on the candidates’ performances at the forum and their responses to questionnaires, Trestrail said.

“I hope that we have a really good turnout,” Trestrail said of the forum.

The Sierra Club forum is not the only one planned this election season.

The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce also will hold one at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts.