Interest in the Warfield byelection candidates was suspected to be robust, but the forum moderator says he was quite surprised with the strong turnout Thursday night.
Upwards of 150 attended the community event, noted Doug Jones. As president of the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce, the organization responsible for hosting municipal forums, Jones moderated the community forum while chamber staff timed opening and closing statements as well as the response duration.
“Right from the start the chamber got a lot of calls, and I actually got a few calls personally, asking why we weren’t running a forum,” said Jones. “Normally (the request) comes from the village office but they are all involved in the election process and weren’t able to do it this time,” he added. “So we decided there was enough interest and it turned out there was a lot of interest in the candidates, because there were some new ones and I think people really wanted to hear what they have to say.”
Former councillors Diane Langman and Brett Rakuson were in the hot seat now that they are vying for the mayor’s position. Four men, Bradley Jansen, Ronald Joseph, Raymond Masleck and Wesley Robilliard, are running for the two councillor seats now open. Notably, only five political hopefuls were on hand, Robilliard was not able to attend.
The forum was slated to wind up within two hours from when doors opened at 6:30 p.m. Jones says with so many queries directed toward the five attending candidates, the evening stretched out to almost 9 p.m.
“There were a lot of really good questions asked to the candidates, but more towards the mayoral candidates,” he told the Trail Times. “I thought all the candidates were really quite good, and everyone did get insight into who they may want (to vote for).”
Advance polls open tomorrow (Wednesday) and again on Feb. 22 from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. in the Warfield municipal office on Schofield Highway. General Voting Day is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 25 from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. in Warfield council chambers, located in the municipal office building.
According to BC Civic info, Warfield is home to approximately 1,400 eligible voters. Electors not already on the list, may register at the time of voting by completing the required application form at the voting place.
For more information, contact Chief Election Officer Jackie Patridge at 250.368.8202.