Neither Mayor Joseph Solomon nor Vincent Ferla appeared on the Democratic Mayoral Forum planned by the Warwick Beacon and hosted by PEG TV last Thursday at their studio in Providence.
In scheduling the forum, the Beacon contacted the office of Mayor Solomon and was told he would be available at 1:30 p.m. for the hour-long forum. The paper then contacted the three other candidates for their availability at the same time, as well as locking in the time for the studio that had to rally the appropriate production crew.
The forum was announced more than a week in advance to it being videotaped. Then a week before the forum, the paper was informed that the date had not been cleared by the Solomon campaign; there was a scheduling conflict. The campaign suggested a Sept. 6 forum, which would not have allowed for it to be programmed for a full schedule across a spectrum of channels even if the studio was capable of altering its production schedule.
Solomon was asked if he could rearrange his schedule to make the forum. In response to the reporter’s question, he said he has a busy schedule and that he leaves that up to his City Hall office and the campaign.
After talking with the studio, the paper offered the campaign to shift the forum by an hour but keep it on Thursday afternoon. Campaign manager Jackie Baginski said there was no available time on Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the paper was in contact with Ken Murphy of Ferla’s campaign. Murphy could not commit to Ferla’s attendance because of a medical condition. On Wednesday he contacted the paper, saying Ferla would not be present because he was undergoing a “medical procedure” on Thursday.