Moderator Larry Summers, a DePauw University senior, asked the ten aspiring public servants who came out to the forum questions about issues ranging from safety and security in Stardust Hills to whether a local blog is a productive addition to town politics.
Clerk-Treasurer Patti Traux, Town Council Ward 2 candidate and current member John Davis and Town Council At-Large candidate Stephen Caulkins were not in attendance.
Tapping into a hotly debated issue that has come before the town council several times, Summers asked the candidates whether they favored adding another police dog to the Cloverdale Police Department. The first Cloverdale K-9, Alec, retired this spring and later died last month.
At-Large candidate Charlie Schenk and Ward One candidate Jerry Acrea both came out in favor of getting another police dog. Both men said the dog served an important purpose to the community, particularly in the schools.
At-Large candidate Terry Puffer said he doesnâ€™t believe the town is large enough to need a K-9 officer. Ward One candidate and current council member Glen Vickroy said the Sheriffâ€™s Department currently has two working police dogs for the county â€" a sufficient number to cover Cloverdale. Ward Two candidate and current board president Don Sublett, At-Large candidate Tom Tomlinson and Clerk-Treasurer candidate Cathleen Monaco echoed that sentiment. At-Large candidates Phyliss Gaddis and Joseph Zimmerman and Ward One candidate Daniel Inlow said the town needs to focus on other issues before starting up the K-9 program again.
Candidates also answered a question about whether keeping Allan Yackey on as town attorney is a conflict of interest since he represents Sublett as well.
Acrea and Tomlinson avoided the issue, saying they did not know enough to answer.
Schenk said the potential conflict of interest is one thing he would consider looking into if he is elected to the board Nov. 6.
The rest of the candidates, including Sublett himself, praised Yackey and said they did not believe the issue was a problem.
The candidates also fielded a question about whether the blog Cloverdale INsite hurt or helped the politics of Cloverdale. Town resident Diana Brumfield, writing under the pen name Cloveria Quinlan, uses her Web site, http://cloverdalein.wordpress.com/, to comment on politics and news in the community.
Schenk, who has been recently mentioned on the blog, said itâ€™s important for the blogger, whose name was not mentioned at the forum, to write about only correct information.
Puffer, Gaddis, Monaco and Inlow came out in support of the Web site. Sublett side-stepped the question, saying he doesnâ€™t read blogs.
A third forum, this one organized by the League of Women and sponsored by the BannerGraphic and WREB, will take place at 7 p.m. Oct. 30 in the Cloverdale High School Cafetorium.