There are several upcoming chances to meet the candidates in the weeks leading up to the May 8 municipal election.

The first is at an open house at the Bellevue Avenue Library building on Sunday, April 22 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Billed as a “non-partisan, voluntary, informational event open to all candidates and in support of none,” the event is hosted by the Upper Montclair Business Association (UMBA), the Friends of the Bellevue Avenue Library (FBAL), and the Montclair Public Library (MPL).

The public will be able to meet and greet the Township Council candidates, who will discuss their platforms and why they are running. According to the organizers, all candidates have been invited and many are expected to attend, including representatives from three major slates, as well as independent candidates.

“Our mission is to champion the historically significant Bellevue Avenue Library as a vital resource through public advocacy and community engagement,” said FBAL President John Downing. “By working with UMBA and MPL to set up this candidate forum, we are trying to increase public awareness of important issues, including the future of Montclair’s library system, and motivate greater citizen involvement in the political process.”

As if that weren’t enough, there’s this: light refreshments and beverages will be served.

For Montclair's Walter Springer, Harvey Susswein, Bill Hurlock, Tim Barr

Then, on Wednesday, April 25, the Madison Avenue Civic Group will host a Fourth Ward Forum for Mayoral and At-Large Town Council Candidates. Candidates will address questions from the audience that concern issues of the Fourth Ward. The event will take place at 7 p.m. at the Montclair Fire Department Headquarters Training room (2nd floor) at One Pine Street.

Mayoral Candidates Robert Jackson, Harvey Susswein, and Karen Turner will be there, as will Councilor At-Large Candidates Timothy Barr, LeeAnn Carlson, Patricia Hurt, Rich McMahon, Robert Russo, Kathryn Weller-Demming, and Peter Zorich.

Finally, the Montclair High School Civics and Government Institute (CGI) is hosting a community-wide mayoral debate on Thursday, April 26 from 6:30-8:30 pm in the MHS LGI (Large Group Instruction room).