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When members of Uptown York Rotary Club decided that as one of our community service projects we would sponsor a forum for candidates on the ballot for York County Commissioner and York City Council, we thought it would be a better program if we involved other groups that might bring more points of view into the planning.

So we asked Downtown Inc. and the Alliance of Neighborhood Associations (ANA) to join us as co-sponsors, and asked their help in putting on the event and in developing a good, meaty set of questions to ask the candidates.

The April 20 forum turned out well. Ben Moylan and Lewis Delauder from the Alliance, Sonia Huntzinger from Downtown Inc, and David Corman from Uptown leaped into action on the planning committee, joined by Uptown's president, Victoria Connor, and Rotarians Kevin Cysyk and Rob Bernhard.

The School District of the City of York loaned us not only the sound system that gave every candidate a microphone, it loaned us sound engineer Chris Touras. We had marvelous cooperation from the Yorktowne Hotel's Rick Cunningham, Leslie Einhorn Ravitz and Chef Derek, who prepared a special "quick bites" menu for the evening at the OffCenter Grill.

Finally, we wrapped it up with an excellent emcee, Victoria Connor; two superb moderators, Sonia Huntzinger for the county commissioners' forum and Ben Moylan for the city council forum. The ANA's Mary Anne Bacas and Uptown's Jim Singleton rounded out the work crew to assure that the event went smoothly.

Most importantly, all of the candidates agreed to participate and accepted with good humor our stipulation that they must prepare and deliver an "Elevator Speech" consisting of no more than 27 words, deliverable in nine seconds, and covering 3 points. All 11 candidates even turned in their speeches on or before the deadline we gave them.

Thanks to all who helped us provide this service to citizens — those who attended the forum, as well as those who learn about it via post-forum coverage from the city's White Rose TV and from both local newspapers. We urge everyone to vote in the primary election on May 19.

GENEVIEVE RAY

Forum committee chair

Uptown York Rotary Club

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