An invitation has been extended to each candidate running for a seat on Charlotte’s City Council to attend a candidate forum on Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m., in the lower level of the Courthouse Museum. The forum is an opportunity for candidates to present themselves and their stance on local issues to local voters.

Organized by former Charlotte High School teacher, Ben Phlegar, the forum has been designed more as a meet and greet than a debate. Each candidate will be given five minutes for opening statements, followed by questions from the audience. Once all candidates in a particular race have finished, each will have an additional two minutes for closing statements.

The forum will be moderated by Travis Silvas of The County Journal.

The forum will begin with City Council District 1, which features Yvonne Ridge running unopposed. It will proceed with District 2 candidates, incumbent Brad Johnston, and challengers Branden Dyer and Kyle Ried. The forum then shifts to Council At Large, featuring candidates Darryl Baker and Doug Rosier. The forum will conclude with the mayoral race wherein current City of Charlotte Mayor Tim Lewis is running unopposed.

All candidates, aside from Ried, have RSVP’d with their planned attendance at the forum.

Phlegar said he used to invite local candidates into his classroom at Charlotte High School to share their reasons for running for office. This opportunity is an extension of what he did as a teacher and put this together with the goal of informing and involving the community in local government.

The theme of the evening, as established by Phlegar, is civility, not discourse. The forum’s format is intended to give the audience an opportunity to have what could amount to a constructive conversation with each candidate. The goal is to give community members and potential voters the opportunity to become more informed about each candidate, their ideas and the passion each demonstrates for their community.