Greater Trail residents eager to find out first hand what hopeful municipal politicians have to offer are invited to attend upcoming all-candidates forums with the first kicking off tonight.
Participants will hear from mayoral and councillor candidates as well as School District 20’s board trustee potentials, depending on which positions have already been acclaimed in each given community.
Former Fruitvale Mayor Libby Nelson has stepped down from her post, leaving village residents to choose between former Fruitvale councillor Patricia Cecchini and Gary Moisson.
The mayor candidates – along with Dick Bilenki, Darrel Ganzert, Kim Mandoli and Vince Morelli vying for the two Beaver Valley school trustee spots – will battle it out at the village forum tonight at the Fruitvale Memorial Centre from 7-9 p.m.
“Whenever you do things live and you’re there, you get first hand information,” said Ron Clarke, president of the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce, who’ll be moderating the majority of local forums.
“It generally proves to be rather benign in fireworks but every once and awhile there is that level of openness and spontaneity that does create some very frank discussion.”
The Montrose debate is set for Wednesday at the Montrose Community Hall from 7-9 p.m., when former village councillor Joe Danchuk, Ronald Pylypuik and incumbent Mayor Griff Welsh will be laying it out on the table. That same night, incumbent Area A director Ali Grieve will be going head-to-head with Scott Cohen.
Trail Mayor Dieter Bogs will get to sit back and relax Nov. 8 from 7-9 p.m. when 10 potential city councillors push for a seat in council chambers; Incumbent councillors Robert Cacchioni, Gord DeRosa, Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson and Fred Romano are joined by John Carter, Bryan Deferro, Ray Furlotte, Rick Georgetti, Kevin Jolly and Sean Mackinlay.
Meanwhile, Terry Hanik, Lorraine Manning and Mark Wilson will also be on hand to make their case for the two Trail school board positions.
While the Trail Chamber will put on the majority of area forums, Rossland Rotary will host the Golden City’s.
With Greg Granstrom secured once again as mayor, Rosslanders will hear from incumbent councillors Laurie Charlton, Kathy Moore, Jill Spearn and Kathy Wallace joined
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by newcomers Jody Blomme, Bob Chamut, Cary Fisher, David Klein, Tim Thatcher and Sharon Wieder Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Miners’ Hall.
New this year, the Trail chamber has invited a youth representative from Trail, Montrose and Fruitvale to add a new voice to the discussion in hopes of engaging young people in the election process and to open up communication between politicians and youth. The facilitator has also been collecting online questions from residents via their webpage (www.trailchamber.bc.ca) or asking residents to drop off a question at their downtown Trail office.
“Your biggest bang for the buck is within your own municipality, so get out, get interested and go vote,” said Clarke. “The interesting conundrum I have is municipal elections have the poorest electoral turnout of about 30 to 40 per cent traditionally and yet it is where we can individually make an impact.”