SOUTH GLENS FALLS — There will be no debate among the four candidates running for Village Board.

Former Mayor Joe Orlow and board member Tim Carota, the only incumbent running, have decided not to participate in a League of Women Voters debate.

Their challengers, two Democrats, both agreed to the debate. The League of Women Voters has a policy, however, of not staging debates if only one party will attend.

“If there was one from each party, we would do it,” said League of Women Voters official Charlotte Druschel. “But they’re both from one party. We’re not going to do that.”

She said Orlow and Carota both declined the League’s offer of a debate.

“Mr. Orlow and Mr. Carota did not want a debate,” she said, adding that both men said they respect the League.

In an email to The Post-Star, Carota said he was simply “not interested” in a debate. Orlow did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Later, Carota explained in another email that he saw no need for a debate.

“The village residents know me very well and understand how I stand on all the issues the village has been dealing with. I don’t need to tell them,” he said. “They’ve voted on me before because they see themselves in me. They see their children, husbands, brothers and fathers in me. That’s why they have voted for me. Not because I looked good in some debate. That’s why I have no interest in the debate.”

On the Democratic side, Liz Wilcox, former co-owner of Samantha’s Café, and Brigid Martin, a well-known village resident, are running as a team for the two seats on the board.

Martin said she was disappointed that the Republicans would not debate.

“A meet-the-candidate forum, like the one the League of Women Voters proposed, would allow for efficiency, transparency and fairness,” Martin said. “Let the people hear all options and let them decide.”

Martin added that elected representatives should be capable of publicly discussing village issues.

“Debate or no debate, Liz and I are prepared as elected representatives to always be ready to publicly discuss the village, her assets and the vision for our future,” Martin said. “Good communication is key to our village’s success.”

Wilcox said she had hoped the debate would be a useful forum about village issues.

“It’s this wonderful opportunity to hear from the people in the village — what they’re concerned about, getting feedback — and it helps people decide who is going to represent them the best,” she said.

The election will be Tuesday, March 19, at Village Hall.

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You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or kmoore@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on www.poststar.com.


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