The New Gloucester Board of Selectmen will soon decide whether or not to abolish the town committee responsible for putting on candidate forums, allowing voters to ask questions directly of candidates and hear their answers in a live event. At their last meeting, a discussion of whether or not to put money in the town budget for posters to advertise these events suddenly became a motion to disband the committee on the grounds that the town should not use town resources to fund “political” events.

New Gloucester (and many other towns in Maine) has traditionally hosted such events and aired them on public cable in the tradition of the League of Women Voters civic education.

This sudden attempt to end the practice coincides with selectmen Lenora Conger and Steven Libby, who have avoided such events to date, coming up for re-election.

I hope other residents will join me in support of this voter education tradition.

Penny Hilton, New Gloucester