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The Bryan County News' first Board of Education Candidate's Forum on Thursday night probably wasn't perfect. But it went better than we anticipated, thanks in large part to the folks who took part - the candidates and members of the public who cared enough about their local schools to take part.

Our thanks first to the candidates. We thought all of seven - though their personal styles differed - handled the forum well and did a good job of letting folks know where they stood on issues that are important to education in Bryan County. And no matter what you think of their stances on different issues, they deserve our thanks for caring enough about our schools to try and make a difference.

We also want to thank the folks who attended. They were respectful, attentive and asked good questions - and we couldn't have asked for a better crowd. And if there was a downside, it might've been that there wasn't time to ask more questions.

But again on the positive side, we had hoped that 50 people might show up - though we heard estimates that the crowd might number less than half that number.

That turned out to be wrong. Approximately 70 people attended the 90 minute forum, which also included an opportunity for candidate's to introduce themselves and a session in which they answered questions submitted to us by our readers.

Our thanks to those folks, too. We got more questions from readers than we had time to ask at the forum, but you can see the candidate's responses to some of those which were and weren't asked in today's paper.

We thank the Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce for co-sponsoring the forum and Gene and Carol Brogdon for allowing us to use the room in the Speir-Brogdon Building. Our thanks also to Pembroke Telephone for videoing the event.

Given the way the first one went, it's a safe bet we'll do this again.

Jeff Whitten for the Bryan County News

July 12, 2008


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