German, Whatley opt out of Republican-hosted council candidates forum
CAMP VERDE – As of Friday, the Camp Verde Republicans are short three council candidates and one venue in the group’s endeavor to host a forum of prospective Camp Verde Town Council members.
According to Rob Witt, organizer for the July 31 forum and a member of the local Republican club, Mayor Charlie German and Council Member Robin Whatley have decided to not take part in the forum.
“I’d love for them to come,” Witt said Friday. “I’ve offered to do whatever it would take for them to be comfortable. If they decide at the last second to come, I’d love to have them.”
Mayor German said Friday that he will not participate in the forum because its format “has become something that is unacceptable for me as an individual and as a candidate.”
“Due to circumstances over the past five months or so and the increasing intensity and hostility just with the park, I am no longer willing to put myself in situations that have the probability to become hostile and/or dangerous,” Mayor German said.
Mayor German also said he has “already been approached about others not being willing to participate in this form under its existing and changing format.”
For the first half of the forum, candidates will answer a series of public-generated questions. For the second half of the forum, the candidates are to randomly select two candidates that they are to in turn question.
Witt said he “consider[s] it my failure in [not] giving you comfort in the process” that the forum would be a positive event.
“I believe very strongly in civil discourse,” Witt said in an email. “I think we are all better off for having different ideas and blending the best of everyone’s thoughts can create the strongest solutions.”
In the email, Witt also offered both German and Whatley an opportunity to “submit a two-minute letter I will read it at the forum so you can be represented in a small way.”
Camp Verde council candidate Bruce George is also not able to attend the forum, because he and his wife Pat are on their annual volunteering project in Northern Arizona, Witt said.
Witt also announced Friday that Parkside Community Church has decided to not host the event.
But Witt said he is “hopeful” that arrangements can be made to secure another venue, possibly the Philip England Center for the Performing Arts, as a new site for the 6 p.m. Tuesday event.
“We’ve reached out to the school,” Witt said. “The center is not being used” on that day.
For more information about the location of the Camp Verde council candidates forum, call Rob Witt at 928-202-1000 or visit http://campverderepublicans.com/forum.html for more information, or to submit questions,
From 6 p.m. until 6:25 p.m., council candidates will hold a meet-and-greet with guests. At 6:30 p.m., the forum will begin as candidates will each have three minutes to introduce themselves.
-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42