This week begins the Northwest EXPLORER's coverage of the nonpartisan Oro Valley Town Council elections. Because Oro Valley uses an all-mail ballot system, Oro Valley voters will begin receiving their ballots the first week of February, and ballots must be returned by March 9. There will be a run-off election May 11 if necessary. Oro Valley will mail ballots for that election the first week of April.

Because there are 14 non-partisan candidates for the five open council seats, the coverage will be spread out over the next five weeks and will consist of profiles of each candidate and their responses to 10 questions on relevant town issues.

The Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce has scheduled forums for the candidates at Canyon del Oro High School from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 24 for the four-year term candidates, and 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 31 for the two-year term candidates. The forums are scheduled to be held in the school's multipurpose room at 25 W. Calle Concordia.

The Chamber of Commerce, which structured the questions and format of the forums, has asked the candidates for their positions and views on issues that include economic development, business policies and taxes.

Candidates will also be allowed to question the other candidates running for the five open council seats.

You can review copies of the candidates' answers to the Chamber's preliminary questions at both forums beginning at 8 a.m before each forum.

The forums are co-sponsored by the Northwest EXPLORER, and Editor Mark B. Evans is expected to be on hand to ask follow-up questions of the candidates.

Coverage Schedule:

Four Year Candidate Profiles*

This issue:

- Richard Feinberg

- Helen Dankwerth

- Lyra Done

- Al Kunisch

Jan. 14:

- Jon Robson

- Don Cox

- Terry Parish

- Barry Gillaspie

- Mark Ellis

Two-year Candidate Profiles*

Jan. 21:

- Bart Rochman

- Dick Johnson

- Conny Culver

- Steve Conrad

- Ken Carter

Issues Questions 1-5

Jan. 28

Issues Questions 6-10

Feb. 4

*The order in which candidates stories are published was determined by a random drawing.

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