Editorial: on local politics and ground rules

copyright the Chronicle 10-24-2012
You will notice that this week’s Chronicle is packed full of local politics.  We have three lively local races and the interest seems high.  We had good turnout for our forums on October 15 and 22.  Thanks to the candidates, to our co-hosts, and to everyone who attended.  You can tune in to NEK TV to see the full forums.

Part of our function this time of year is setting certain ground rules — for the forums and for these pages.  This week’s paper is the last one where we will allow letters criticizing candidates.  Next week’s paper, the last one before the election, is reserved for brief letters of endorsement and space for the candidates to reply if they feel the need to clarify or respond to something that has been said about them.

Unfortunately there are a full two weeks between the time critical letters can be published and the election.  We are well aware that people don’t always come up with their perfect sentiments for a letter before this time.  In past years we have had to simply reject a lot of these letters as being too late.

Things are different this year due to our redesigned website.  We recently opened an editorials and opinions section where we are posting some of the same material you see in the newspaper, plus more.  It’s open for comments, and we are starting to get some interesting thoughts from our readers in this manner.  We hope you will, as they say, join the conversation.

In the next two weeks, we will allow comments and letters for the website up until the morning of Friday, November 2.  If a candidate feels the need to respond to something on the site after that, he or she can send us that response, and we can still post it before the election.

Last week we posted the story Chris Braithwaite wrote about the Senate candidate forum in our Editor’s Picks section on the free part of this website.  We will post the rest of our political stories, local and statewide, in Editor’s Picks for voters to check back on as the day of your decision comes closer.

We hope all this will be helpful for candidates, voters, and anyone else who likes to follow Vermont politics.  — B.M.D.

contact Bethany M. Dunbar at bethany@bartonchronicle.com

This week’s Chronicle had 24 letters to the editor.  To read them, see our complete online edition.

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