Dear Editor:

As president of the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce (CVCC) and a member of the All Candidates Forum Committee I would like to provide some clarifications regarding the upcoming All Candidates forum on April 27, 2017.

The Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce feels it is important to have an organized forum for political elections for its members and the public to have an opportunity to hear from all the candidates.

The Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce does not hold the exclusive rights to one single event in the region for election information sessions. As far as I am aware any group or organization may choose to organize and run one themselves.

The format of a forum has been used, rather than a debate, as it is felt this gives the audience a chance to get to know the candidates and their views in a civilized way.

The format used is very similar to forums conducted across the country by other Chambers of Commerce.

We encourage all Columbia Valley residents to submit questions for the candidates by emailing: allcandidatesforum@columbiavalleypioner.com no later than 4:00pm April 20, 2017.

From the emails received there will be 8 questions selected by the committee. 5 of the questions will sent to the candidates ahead of time and 3 will be posed at the forum. The committee does not make up the questions it merely shapes the themes that are put forward.

The committee was formed by volunteers. The ask for volunteers was put out to all Chamber of Commerce members. All the volunteers were accepted.

The Executive Director of the CVCC, Susan Clovechok, because of her relationship to one of the candidates, removed herself from any part of the forum process.

Peter Smith, President

Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce