I am writing in response the article: Warren council hopefuls state case, which appeared in your paper on April 26.
I was the moderator for the event covered the Tribune Chronicle.
This event has been referred to as a debate by Councilperson Cheryl Saffold. I assure you this was not a debate. It was an open forum where each candidate was given a two minute opening statement and two minute closing statement.
The remainder of the night included questions from myself, the moderator and pre-screened written questions from the audience. The candidates did not respond directly to their opposing counterpart, as would be the case in an actual debate. As I said earlier, this was not a debate.
Councilperson Saffold's brief yet memorable appearance is best summed up by Mr. Raymond Smith of the Warren Tribune Chronicle who wrote:
"Attending briefly was Councilwoman Cheryl Saffold, D-6th Ward, who said she would not stay because of an adversarial relationship between the organizers of the event and herself."
Councilwoman Saffold never mentioned who she has an adversarial relationship with, I believe she was making reference to Rhonda Bennett, the current president of the Southwest Neighborhood Association. Rhonda Bennett ran against Councilwoman Saffold for the Sixth ward council seat a few years back and did not prevail, yet she never shrank from working to make the Sixth Ward a better safer place to live.
Mrs. Bennett and the the Southwest Neighborhood Association recently rehabbed Southwest Park. A city park that had been closed for decades is now open for the youth of Warren to enjoy. When this park was re-opened and the city held a dedication ceremony, the Sixth Ward Councilwoman Cheryl Saffold, once again was not in attendance.