What Do Long Beach Voters Want In A New Mayor?

Who will sit at the mayor's desk in Long Beach later this month could depend on who does best in the hot seat at a political forum Monday night.

WLOX has learned that at least six of the seven candidates vying for the city's top job are slated to speak.

Each candidate will get five minutes to present his platform and then the forum will open to citizens.

There are a lot of different opinions about who should be the city's next mayor and what will be the defining issues in the August 10th special election.

Robert Patenotte has already decided who will get his vote.

"My main concern are the trees in the city and no casino. Leave the trees alone and leave the casinos out," said Patenotte.

Around town I continued to ask people what the new mayor's priorities should be.

The answers were education, drugs, and the economy.

"I'd hope that we could have someone that has background in financial matters and will keep the city going strong in that area," said Long Beach resident Betty McCarroll.

More than anything some Long Beach residents want to elect a candidate who's one of them.

"I'm looking for a candidate that has a lot of experience here in our community in Long Beach, someone who knows the community, who has lived here for a long time who knows the people and the issues that we are dealing with in our community," said Lisa Russell.

Is he someone who listens?

Is he someone who cares?

That's what voters say they'll be asking themselves as they decide who to send to city hall.

Organizers of the political forum are expecting a big turnout.

The forum is slated for Sunday night at 6:30 PM in the cafeteria at Harper McCaughan Elementary.

Originally, the event was to take place at the Long Beach Annex but organizers say they'd heard from so many people who want to attend they thought they'd need more room.