, Newburyport, MA

October 30, 2013

At-large council candidates have final debate tonight

By Mac Cerullo
Staff Writer

---- — AMESBURY — The five candidates for city councilor at-large will share the stage one last time during tonight’s debate to state their case to the voters before Tuesday’s election.

The debate, co-sponsored by The Daily News of Newburyport and the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce, will begin at 7 p.m. at the Amesbury High School auditorium and is expected to last approximately 90 minutes.

The five candidates for three councilor at-large seats are Eric Bezanson, Anne Ferguson, James Kelcourse, Donna McClure and Allen Neale. Ferguson, Kelcourse and Neale are the incumbent at-large councilors; McClure is the current District 3 councilor and Bezanson is a political newcomer who is attempting his first run for a council set.

During the debate, candidates will have an opportunity to give opening and closing statements, and will be asked several questions regarding their views of Amesbury municipal issues and their qualifications for office. The candidates will also have a chance to answer questions submitted by the public.

The debate will be broadcast live on Amesbury Community Television channel 12. While it is expected to be over prior to the start of tonight’s World Series game, residents who do miss the debate will have a chance to watch a replay on the ACT website.

When voters take to the polls, they will have the opportunity to vote for up to three of the five at-large candidates, with the top three vote-getters winning election.

The Amesbury City Council is made up of nine members, with six district councilors along with the three councilors at-large. Each member of the council serves a two-year term, and collectively they are responsible for approving the city’s annual budget, setting the tax rate, approving municipal ordinances and reviewing and approving special orders such as spending initiatives.