OPINION: Not debatable, Mayor Slaughter is incapable of answering any questions

The following is an opinion editorial authored by Todd Bartley, TalkWilliamsport.com, News@TalkWilliamsport.com.
When current Mayor Derek Slaughter was running for his current office while serving as a city councilman; he was invited to participate in the only Mayoral candidate debate that elections cycle.
It was to be part of a City and County series at Lycoming College.
Four of five Lycoming County Commissioner candidates participated in the Commissioner debate which was characterized as “the best debate this area has ever had.”
The brain trust of the local Democrat party made demands of having the topics provided prior to the debate.
That request was flatly denied by the moderator (this author); based upon the premise of local elected officials and specifically Mayors are not given notice when crisis events are going to occur.
The debate would have been a tremendous opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their ability to think on their feet and respond in real time to a real world scenario question.
Then candidate Slaughter was coming to the debate – until he wasn’t.
Candidate Slaughter in his own words on Friday, September 6, 2019 at 6:39 AM,  Derek Slaughter
Todd Bartley
 Krista Storm <kristastorm@yahoo.com>;  Morgan Allyn <mudallyn@gmail.com>


We need a few more details surrounding the debate. I know it is tentatively scheduled on October 15 from 7-9.
We need to confirm this date, time and a location.
Have you spoken with Lycoming yet?
Is anyone from Lycoming sponsoring the debate?
Also, we need a group email, including the Beiter campaign, so we can confirm all of these details.
We would ask that you provide a general format of the debate structure including topics.
We do not necessarily need specific questions, but we would ask that you provide the topic areas from which the questions will be asked. 
Why did then candidate Slaughter want the topics prior to the debate?
Was he concerned about being asked about his time in the Williamsport Area School District; and what if any knowledge he had of the video depicting an indecent sexual assault on a student during the 2018 WAHS baseball team trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina?
Per the request of candidate Slaughter the following was provided to both campaigns on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 1:45 PM
Derek Slaughter <slaughterforwilliamsport@gmail.com>; mike zicolello <mike@REDCATED.com>
Krista Storm <kristastorm@yahoo.com>; Morgan Allyn <mudallyn@gmail.com>
It is my understanding that both candidates have confirmed attendance for this event. Both have asked for and are now being provided the general outline of the evening.
Looking froward to a great night in discussing the visions for the City of Williamsport.
Here are the details on the upcoming Mayoral Debate on October 15 from 7-9pm
Lycoming College, Krapf Gateway Center, Trogner Presentation Room   
Simulcast Live on News Talk 104.1 & 1600 WEJS
Live Video Stream on NorthCentralPA.com
Parking: In front of building; overflow across the street at Mass Communications Building 
Media will have access at the event and interviews and camera positions can be worked out in the next few weeks. Student participation will most likely be in attendance and (if agreed upon) a student from each party represented could introduce a candidate. Similar to Penn College event.
The proposed format is outlined below with topics and questions directly relating to the challenges facing the City of Williamsport and the responsibilities of the Office of the Mayor.
That is as far as I will be going in providing advance topics and questions for this debate. As I did in the Republican Primary Commissioner Debate; questions were thought out and specific statistical details to react to were provided within the questions asked.
With that as the backdrop, the proposed format is as follows: (times are approximate)
700-703 pm – Welcome, Introductions, Anthem, Pledge
703-705 pm – Opening Statement from each candidate (roughly 1-min in length for each)
Opposite Order of Penn College Debate
705-745 pm – First 5 rounds of topics, questions and answers (rebuttals as requested)
Each round should last around 8 minutes (discretion of moderator)
745-800 pm – Intermission (could be 10 minutes instead of 15 if we need extra time on the first 5 rounds)
800-840 pm – Last 5 rounds of topics, questions and answers (rebuttals as requested)
Each round should last around 8 minutes (discretion of moderator)
840-845 pm – Closing Statement from each candidate (roughly 1-min in length for each)
Opposite Order of Penn College Debate
845-846 pm – Moderator Closing Remarks and Thank You to parties involved
Talk Soon

Todd Bartley”

So abiding with the request of then candidate Slaughter with the exception of “topics”; it was a bit of surprise to receive an email from him on Sunday September 22, 2019 at 2:49 PM: 

Todd Bartley
mike zicolello <mike@REDCATED.com>;

Krista Storm <kristastorm@yahoo.com>; Morgan Allyn <mudallyn@gmail.com>
At this point, we have prior commitments and therefore cannot attend this event.
We respectfully decline this invite. 
Slaughter ran on a campaign of Transparency, Efficiency and Accountability.
Mayor Slaughter, an invitation still stands for a sit-down interview to cover any number of “topics” facing your administration.
If there were “prior commitments”; why was an alternate date not suggested by then candidate Slaughter?
In closing, will you take exception when your successor blames you and your administration for the colossal disaster you are leaving them to deal with?