At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, the Dunn County Herald will be sponsoring a Dunn County Sheriff’s Candidate Debate at the American Legion Hall, Ezra Burrows Post 46, in Killdeer.
This first debate will be one of three anticipated debates to occur over the next 90 days – the first in Killdeer (August), the second in Dunn Center (September) and the third in Dodge/Halliday (October). These venues represent the three largest voting areas.
Public interest in this race has been well documented so this proposal provides each candidate more than one opportunity to “get their message out.”
A neutral moderator for each venue will be selected by our staff to conduct a coin toss, present questions, time the responses and/or referee the discourse between the candidates and/or the audience. For our first debate, the moderator will be Pastor John Simonson of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Killdeer. We believe he is a good fit, being a seasoned public speaker with a record of honesty and integrity. We will be implementing a debate process in conformity with recommendations of the League of Women Voters who sponsor similar candidate debates for federal, state and local races across the country. The following rules will be strictly adhered-to by candidates, supporters and audience members at each debate.
The list of questions will also be published in the Herald as public information for our readers and so that the general public can tailor their audience questions, at the actual debate itself, to avoid repetition.
Doors to the debate’s venues will open 15 minutes prior to the start of the debate. Audience members will hand print any question they have on an index card (provided by the sponsor) and it will then be placed in a box or other secure container to be maintained by the moderator personally until the debate begins. No audience member will be allowed to directly address a candidate during the debate to conserve time and to avoid rancor or partisanship. Applause will also be prohibited to conserve valuable time and to give the candidates as much time as possible.
DURING THE DEBATE:
The moderator will welcome everyone, explain the format of the meeting (including time limits and the role of the audience) and introduce the candidates. Each candidate will have three minutes to introduce themselves.
Questions will be posed by the moderator to the candidates in a rotating fashion.
PUBLISHED QUESTIONS FOR THE FIRST DEBATE
The following questions will be those published for the Killdeer debate and posed by our moderator at the Aug. 26 debate:
1.) What do you see are the major challenges facing the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department in 2014 and beyond?
2.) What would your personal strengths and weaknesses be when it comes to being the sheriff of this county?
3.) A chief complaint we hear is “traffic” in Dunn County and aggressive driving. How would your administration assist the motoring public with this problem?
4.) In conjunction with the preceding question, this past fall, the Dunn County State’s Attorney announced a Zero Tolerance Drug and DUI enforcement policy. How do you see the sheriff’s department’s role in that process?
5.) There have been members of the public who view the sheriff’s department as a “rural” policing agency. Do you agree that deputies need to “stay on the scoria” and off the pavement?
6.) How do you see the sheriff’s department’s role in conjunction with the North Dakota Highway Patrol and Killdeer Police Dept.?
7.) Do you perceive any staffing shortfalls in the sheriff’s department and, if so, what are your plans to deal with those for 2014-15?
8.) What is your view of proactive narcotics interdiction as it relates to traffic enforcement and routine calls for service?
9.) The sheriff’s department now has appointed a full time detective’s position. Will that situation stay in place for the future?
10.) Do any training or equipment issues exist within the department and, if so, how do you intend to address them?
11.) In the past, Dunn County has had a problem retaining its deputies. How do you intend to retain current personnel?
12.) Why are you a better fit for this department than your opponent?