The week began with Mayor William Hallenbeck announcing that he would not debate his challenger, Democratic candidate Victor Mendolia, because he was too busy running the city to prepare for a debate. Believing that "voters deserve the opportunity to hear directly from the candidates on the issues that are important to them," Mendolia has scheduled a town hall style meeting in place of a debate.
The meeting will take place on Saturday, October 26, at 2 p.m., in the auditorium of the Second Ward Foundation, the former Charles Williams School. The meeting will be moderated by Francesca Shanks, former city editor at the Register-Star and now an editor at the Berkshire Eagle. A second moderator is yet to be determined. Written questions will be accepted from audience members and organized and posed by the moderators.
In the press release announcing the meeting, Mendolia commented: "I am thrilled to be holding this town hall meeting in the Second Ward, an area of the city which is often the forgotten ward of Hudson. I look forward to seeing people from all over Hudson join us in the Second Ward, where I live, for this meeting to discuss Hudson's future."
Hallenbeck has been formally invited to participate but has so far declined. Mendolia indicated that the opportunity remains open to Hallenbeck should be change his mind. "I hope that the Mayor will reconsider," said Mendolia, "and allow the public to compare our visions and our plans for the city. But either way, I will be there ready to share my thoughts and hear from the public about their concerns."