After weeks of sometimes-contentious wrangling, Mayor Shayne Gallo and Democratic primary challenger Steve Noble have agreed on terms for a debate.
The two are expected to meet on Monday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. at Temple Emanuel at 243 Albany Ave.
The agreement comes after several weeks of haggling between candidates about the proper time and venue for the debate. First, Gallo objected to a proposed Sept. 8 debate at City Hall proposed by a coalition of citizens groups. The mayor said he didn’t like the timing (two days before the primary) and the presence of two groups — KingstonCitizens.org and Citizen Action, which believes support Noble — among the organizers. Later, Noble declined to take time off from his city job to attend a proposed daytime live-streamed forum at the offices of the Daily Freeman. Noble said that besides not wanting to take time off during a busy season for the Parks & Rec Department where he works, he believed the debate should be open to the public and held at a time when working people could attend.
“I’m very happy that Temple Emanuel stepped up,” said Noble. “This is exactly what we wanted, to debate at a time and place that’s accessible to as many people as possible.”
The debate will be moderated by the League of Women Voters. Audience members will be invited to submit questions on index cards which will then be read by moderators. Noble said that the initial debate was strictly for candidates in the Democratic primary but he expected a second debate featuring the Democratic nominee and Republican Ron Polacco.
Gallo, meanwhile, said that he welcomed the opportunity to defend his record in a public forum. “What we’ve had here is a reinvention of government through the creation of a partnership of inclusivity,” said Gallo. “That’s a record of accomplishment that I’m anxious to convey.”