|By Sarah M. Corigliano|
Assistant Managing Editor
WILBRAHAM Members of the Concerned Citizens of Wilbraham, a community advocacy group, announced they will host a "Meet the Candidates" night April 20.
Concerned Citizens Chairman Robert Page explained that this will most likely become an annual event to help voters in town become better informed in advance of elections.
"We're sponsoring the event and we're very happy to do that -- it's in the nature of Concerned Citizens to inform the public and try to be good citizens," he said. "It's a nice way of getting the public involved more in their town events."
This July, Page added, the group will mark its third anniversary.
All candidates -- newcomers and incumbents -- were invited to take part in the event, and Page reported that all but two have made the commitment. The two who will not attend, School Committee incumbent William Bickley and Housing Authority candidate Sally Murphy, had previous appointments or plans that could not be changed.
The format of the event, which will begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Wilbraham Middle School on Stony Hill Road, will include a five minute presentation by each of the 12 candidates present, followed by questions and answers from the audience.
Page said he will be the moderator, but will not personally take part in the questioning. Attendees will be invited to address the candidates directly, or to fill out cards with their questions, which will be asked by the moderator.
Candidates include Pat Brady, candidate for Selectman; Lawrence LaBarbera, incumbent candidate for the Board of Assesors; Richard Swain, incumbent candidate for Tree Warden; Donald Bourcier, candidate for Cemetery Commission; James Dunbar, candidate for Water Commission; Janet Shea, incumbent candidate for Library Trustee; Fred Fuller, III, incumbent candidate for Planning Board; Kevin Moriarty, incumbent candidate for Selectman; Beverly Litchfield, incumbent candidate for Town Clerk; John Lovejoy, candidate for Moderator; Gilles Turcotte, incumbent candidate for School Committee; Anthony Scibelli, candidate for Moderator; and Jean Albano, candidate for Library Trustee.
Page added that the only two contested races, at press time, were for Selectman and Moderator.