City Candidate Forum Hit By Technical Issues

A week before facing the voters, the seven Yankton City Commission candidates faced a final round of questions Tuesday — but, due to technical issues besetting the remote forum, viewers will have to hold tight before they see those answers.

The Interchange/Yankton Area Chamber of Commerce forum featured incumbents Nathan Johnson and Bridget Benson, former city commissioner and Mayor Curt Bernard and challengers Michael Grave, Stacey Nickels, Mike Villanueva and Thomas Bixler.

The candidates are vying for three open seats on the board.

Tuesday’s forum suffered a major setback at the onset. Intended as a Facebook Live forum, unspecified technical difficulties left organizers unable to broadcast the forum live to the public. Instead, according to a post on the Chamber’s Facebook page, the recording is set to be presented at a later time.

“Due to technical difficulties, we will be posting the City Commission Candidate Forum recording later this evening,” the post read. “We apologize for any inconvenience!”

As a result of the video not being published ahead of press time, an abbreviated story on the event will be published today and followed up on in Thursday’s Press & Dakotan.

According to one forum participant, organizers were unable to get the Zoom-based forum to stream live on Facebook Live. The forum started around 20 minutes late and wrapped up just after 9 p.m.

The participant added that the forum approached a number of topics, including:

• Each candidate’s top three priorities going forward if they are elected;

• General feelings on the COVID-19 vaccine and whether they had received it or planned to receive it;

• Feelings on various improvements that have been made to Walnut Street over the past couple of years;

• Thoughts on increasing utility rates.

The municipal election is set for Tuesday, April 13. Absentee ballots are available to be filled out at City Hall every weekday.

Follow @RobNielsenPandD on Twitter.

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