Talk the Vote week one

Residents and Mansfield City Council candidates participate during the first of six "Talk the Vote" listening sessions at Idea Works in downtown Mansfield. "Meet the Candidates" tonight will also be hosted at the 40 W. 4th St. facility. (Richland Source file photo)

MANSFIELD -- Business is about to pick up in terms of selecting the leaders on Mansfield City Council, including a final "Talk the Vote" session, election preview stories and a "Meet the Candidates" event.

You still have time to make your voice heard before the Nov. 2 election, a day which will determine the makeup of roughly half the members of City Council.

Voters will pick leaders in the 1st, 3rd and 5th wards, as well as an At-large seat.

In a national and political world that's gone beyond ridiculous in recent years, we think local elections are far more important.

We think Mansfield residents should care deeply about local elections, including a city council tasked with many responsibilities, including the spending of local tax dollars. The next City Council will make choices, for example, on how to spend another $10 million in federal American Rescue Plan dollars.

In addition, these folks make important decisions like dry dams, economic development, trash hauling/dumping, homelessness solutions, recreational opportunities (yes, skate parks, too!) and many more.

Toward that end, the final Richland Source "Talk the Vote" session will be Monday at 6 p.m. in the 6th Ward at the SC Event Center, 417 Orange St. It's your chance to tell us what you want to hear candidates talking about as they campaign for your vote.

It's the sixth and final in a series of hour-long listening tour stops we have conducted around the city. As always, candidates can attend, but their job at these events is to simply listen. And yes, there will again be refreshments!

We believe elections should always be about voters, not candidates. It's crucial that your voice be heard during the campaign -- and again at the ballot box.

"Talk the Vote" is  a reprise of the popular event we first did in 2019, a voter-engagement project that gained international attention. The effort this year is being funded through a grant from the Solutions Journalism Network.

You can register for Monday's session here. Walk-ins are also always welcome.

We have also expanded our Source family "Talk the Vote" this year with events in Ashland and Knox counties, talking to residents in those communities about issues important to them. We are grateful so many citizens turned out for those inaugural events.

As we finish the final "Talk the Vote" session in Mansfield, we will spend the next few days talking to all eight City Council candidates about the things you have told us in the last six weeks.

Your questions and thoughts will then reflected in a series of four election preview stories, offering insights and information you can use when going to the polls and casting your vote on Nov. 2.

That series starts Thursday, Oct. 21 and continues through Sunday, Oct. 24. We will start in the 1st Ward, followed by the 3rd, 5th and At-large races.

On Monday, Oct. 25, we will cap off our pre-election coverage at Idea Works at 40 W. 4th St. in downtown Mansfield at 6 p.m. with our "Meet the Candidates" event.

All eight candidates have been invited to participate. We will invite the two candidates in each race to sit down with us and have a conversation in front of a live audience, spending 15 to 20 minutes with each in an informal setting.

You can register for "Meet the Candidates" here. We are also working on a plan to perhaps livestream the event on the Richland Source Facebook page.

There you have it. We have a lot to do in the next eight days. Many important decisions to be made. Don't sit on the sidelines or behind your keyboard.

Join us in helping the City of Mansfield make decisions that stretch into the future.

Do you value local news?

Help make local news that keeps you informed and connected with your community sustainable in Richland County.

City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"