Residents of Eldon will have their chance to question their upcoming mayoral candidates at a town hall event Wednesday night. The Miller County Democrat Club is sponsoring a town hall forum at the Eldon Community Center March 4th at 7:00 p.m.

Residents of Eldon will have their chance to question their upcoming mayoral candidates at a town hall event Wednesday night. The Miller County Democrat Club is sponsoring a town hall forum at the Eldon Community Center March 4th at 7:00 p.m.

Town Hall organizer Bryan Struebig says the reason they decided to host the forum was because the candidates running for the position haven’t had a public opportunity to showcase what they stand for. Gene Bauer and Trevor Vernon will be in attendance, though third candidate Bob Toalson is opting out. He says that he will not be attending any public debates, though will be in attendance for a forum hosted Tammy Witherspoon at the end of the month. 

In a lengthy statement on his mayoral Facebook page, Toalson said “I am running for the elected position of Mayor of Eldon for the betterment of Eldon, not to beat persons for the position, to fill the seat and do the job I believe I can do. I was contacted, twice by the Chairperson of the Democrat Party for Miller County for this event and asked to appear for the forum and both times he called I declined the invitation.”

With both Vernon and Bauer confirmed to be in attendance, the event will still go on as planned. Struebig says that doors will open to the event at 6:30 p.m. and as residents walk in, they will be handed a notecard, on which they will be asked to write a question for the attending candidates. Later on in the event, a random audience member will be asked to draw a notecard out of a bin. Whatever question is written down will be asked to the candidates. 

Struebig says that he hopes the questions will address the bigger issues surrounding the city, including insurance rates following the tornado in 2019 and the issues surrounding water and sewage bills.

Eldon is facing some tough financial decisions. Late last year, the city was forced to reduce positions, including several firefighters and cut expenses in other areas to make up for a significant shortfall in revenue. 

The city has 2 issues on the ballot, including a water and sewer improvement proposal. 

“There’s a lot riding on some big decisions in Eldon,” Struebig said. “The city can choose to grow and expand or decay.”