All Candidates Forum slated for municipal election
Less than 22 hours remain before the nomination deadline for civic elections closes, and an All Candidates Forum is scheduled and ready to go.
Traditionally hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, and All Candidates Forum is an opportunity for residents to meet and question prospective city councillors and to hear them respond to media questions, according to chamber executive director Pam McLeod. “We’re having it in the Purcell Room of the Castlegar Complex from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 8,” McLeod said, adding early balloting begins on the same day (and will continue at the Community Forum beside City Hall Nov. 8 and 9, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.), but an earlier date wasn’t possible while working around the candidates’ schedules. The general election is slated for Nov. 19. Confirmed media panel members include EZ Rock Radio (formerly KBS), Mountain FM, the Castlegar News and, of course, the Castlegar Source. “I’d like to see between 80 and 100 people show up,” she added. “We traditionally see more people turn out for federal and provincial elections, but I hope this election will be the exception to that rule. Everybody’s got something to say – this is the platform that allows people to have a voice. It matters and it makes a difference.” The mayoral race will not be included in the debates unless another candidate steps forward – as it stands, 2011 looks to bring another acclamation win for incumbent mayor Lawrence Chernoff. In council contention, though, three new faces have presented themselves: Dan Rye, Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff and Peter Wulowka. Incumbents Deb McIntosh, Kevin Chernoff, Russ Hearne and Gord Turner have all submitted nomination paperwork, while councillor Kirk Duff has declared his intention to run but has not yet filed papers to that effect. Councillor Bernie Krueckl has declined to run again. As for why the chamber is hosting the forum, McLeod said there are several reasons to get involved. “A vibrant electoral process serves the whole city, especially the commercial sector,” she said. “We have been fortunate enough to go in and meet with council once a year as they approach their budget cycle, and historically council has really listened to the input of the business community through the Chamber of Commerce.” For more information, call the chamber at 250-365-6313.