Cooler fall weather might have set in, but election fever in Creston is heating up.
With the local municipal election right around the corner, candidates running for local office will have the opportunity to showcase their platforms at an all-candidates forum to be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4. The event is scheduled to take place at the Kootenay River Secondary School Auditorium and will be co-hosted by Kootenay Employment Services (KES), the Creston Valley Tourism Society, and the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce. Doors will open at 5:30.
Rita Scott, retired lawyer and current chair of the Creston Valley Housing Society, will serve as moderator of the event.
“With 13 candidates running for council and three contenders for the mayor’s office, the forum promises to serve up lively debate and discussion,” said Scott.
Time will be allotted for all candidates, including contenders for Regional District of Central Kootenay seats, to introduce themselves to the public. Following introductory remarks, mayoral and council candidates will participate in the question-and-answer portion of the evening.
Jesse Willicome, administrator of the Creston Valley Tourism Society, advises the forum will be hosted as a non-partisan event.
“We’re looking forward to hearing a variety of views and platforms,” he said. “The goal is to equip voters to make an informed decision come Election Day.”
According to the forum hosts, civic engagement is at the heart of this event.
“The cornerstone of a healthy democracy is having accountability and engagement between elected officials and the community. With this event, we strive to engage, to inform, and to empower,” said Leah Kleinhans, manager of the Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Economic Action Partnership at KES.
Patricia Kilback, manager of the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce, echoed her excitement for involvement in the forum.
“Community issues and local governance strongly impact our economic growth,” she said. “It’s important that local businesses have the chance to engage on these issues.”
The hosting organizations are hopeful the event will see a strong turnout from the public and fruitful discussions about the issues that matter most to our community.
To maximize public engagement, members of the community are invited to submit questions they would like candidates to address during the forum. Questions can be submitted electronically by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. As an alternative to email, physical drop boxes will be made available at the offices of both the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce and Kootenay Employment Services. Submissions will be accepted until 12 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29.