Alexandra - I am writing to you as Chairman of the Berkeley Heights Republican Party, on behalf of Council candidates Craig Pastore and Kevin Hall. While we appreciate your debate invitation, we must respectfully decline your offer to schedule a second debate a week before the general election.

As you certainly know, all of the Council candidates appeared last week at the League of Women Voters' debate. That debate is currently airing on TV34 and Verizon Fios 47 for all residents to view the responses of all candidates. The debate process is a vital part of the election season and we always have supported the efforts of the League to host a non-partisan debate. The League is universally recognized as the official sponsor of such debates. Due to the difficulty of arranging schedules for such events, the League schedules the debate well before the election season to ensure availability of candidates. To my recollection, it has never been hastily scheduled on a week's notice.

Craig and Kevin have other commitments with a group of residents that evening. They are confident that the presentation they have made in the "official" debate adequately expressed their opinions on the wide range of issues the residents presented. Perhaps, in the future, if you, or other candidates desire more than one debate, it should be arranged with, and coordinated by, the League at the time this event is being planned in the summer.