MECCA - While the national political spotlight focused sharply on the first presidential debate, politicians on the ballot in Trumbull County also were made available for a public event Wednesday night.
Maplewood High School hosted a Candidates Night. Event organizer and 12th-grade government teacher Ben Gibson said it was a perfect opportunity for both the residents and students.
"I think it is very important for the students, because state and local government usually goes under people's radar, and everyone tends to focus on the presidency, so I think it is good for them to see these people, see what they do up there and the questions that they answer," Gibson said.
Tribune Chronicle / Ashley Newman
Incumbent Trumbull County Commissioner Daniel Polivka speaks during Candidates Night hosted by Maplewood High School on Wednesday night. Polivka is being contested for the position by John M. Hull, far left. Also seated are, from left, Humphrey D. Germaniuk, Sam Lamancuso, Diana J. Marchese and Randy L. Smith.
''They'll find out through this the issues that will affect them. That's a good thing."
Senior Miranda Parke was one of the students who spent hours filling the auditorium with streamers, flags and balloons for the occasion.
"I blew up probably 50 balloons this morning for this," she said. "I'm really glad we are doing it. We don't have a lot out here, so this is really something that can make us shine and I think the people need that."
Candidates in attendance
Trumbull County commissioner
John M. Hull
Daniel E. Polivka
Sandra Stabile Harwood
Richard L. James
Humphrey D. Germaniuk
Randy L. Smith
Diana J. Marchese
Robert M. Platt
Randil J. Rudloff
Court of Appeals, 11th District
Mary Jane Trapp
State Board of Education, 7th District
James J. Collum
John R. Sans
Ohio House of Representatives, 64th District
Ohio House of Representatives, 63rd District
Patricia J. Paridon
Ohio Senate, 32nd District
Capri S. Cafaro
U.S. House of Representatives, 13th District
Marisha G. Agana
U.S. House of Representatives, 14th District
Dale Virgil Blanchard
David P. Joyce
Elaine R. Mastromatteo
The event featured many candidates in contested races and the format included a three-minute general address by each politician, followed by a more general question-and-answer session.
Farmdale resident Debbie Hake said she attended in hopes of finding out more about the potential pitfalls of fracking.
"I'd like to hear what they have to say about the pros and cons and, if there are cons, what they are," Hake said. "We all know what the pros are, which is cash in hand.
"They aren't being specific enough," she said. "We have a farm, and a lot of the people around us have farms. We did sign our land over, and they are eventually going to come do this. What if it hurts our water or the water of the my neighbor and the guy down the street? What are they going to do?
"I hope they have a plan in place and I wish we could have heard specifics about it," she said.
Others at the event like Lorita Nodge were satisfied with the topic.
"I enjoyed them talking about the fracking and I felt like it was a pretty informed discussion," the Warren resident said.
Joe O'Grady, a 55-year-old Warren resident, said, "I just want to see the candidates face-to-face and to hear them speak on their platform outside of just seeing a sign in someone's yard," he said. "This gives me the opportunity to see them and hear them speak and I can judge where I can go with my vote later in November.
"It puts young people in the spotlight, which we need more of and I applaud Maplewood High School for doing this."