Having this conversation in public is a good idea. We all should know who is advocating because they like or dislike the current mayor, and whose arguments are rooted in a concern for the village.
You know what else would be good for political discourse? Not asking the Chamber of Commerce to moderate candidate events. They need to work with whoever wins, so they weed out questions that really need to be asked -- like whether a candidate is planning on budgeting a raise, or how one's personal relationship with another candidate might translate if they both shall win.
If we can't get our local paper to take on this task, how about the League of Women Voters?