The election for Dothan City Commission is less than a month away. Candidates wanting the District 1 seat are letting voters know where they stand. There were four seats at the forum- one for each candidate. But two of those seats were empty.
Incumbent James Reading and newcomer Darrell Davis did not arrive at the forum, so Kevin Dorsey and Larry Matthews had everyone's full attention when they took their seats to answer questions about their platforms.
Matthews says his experience as a city commissioner years ago makes him the most qualified for the job.
"We established the planning department which helped with the urban planning, transportation planning, looking at the future... So all of these things was created during the time I was a member of the Dothan Commission," he explained.
Dorsey points to his own personal motivation for leading and improving District 1.
"I live in the core of the district," he says. "You're welcome to come to my home.. You'd pretty much see what I see. I see the houses with the weeds overgrown, I see the houses and the mangy dogs."
Pastor Jacquette Caroll mediated the discussion, and he believes it's essential for the people of District 1 to know their options.
"In order to vote for someone you need to know their platform and what they stand for and I think it's important to know that. I think you need to come out and hear what the candidates have to say."
Caroll says its not just about knowing what the candidates stand for. It's about knowing who they'll stand for.
"I believe in a district that the candidate is in, the candidate must look out for the needs of that district, not just for one group but from the youngest to the oldest. And it's got to be a community effort."
A crucial part of that effort is showing up at the polls on election day. Even though only half the candidates were there tonight, United Jerusalem Church plans to host another forum before the August 6th City Commission elections.