On Wednesday night the 16 candidates for city councillor and the three for mayor went before a large crowd at the Key City Theatre to debate the merits of their platforms for the public. The JCI Kootenay all-candidates forum brought out 600 or so members of the public to the event.
Jenny Byford, who co-chaired the forum alongside Alton Valler, said the event went great.
“It was very well attended,” Byford said. “We were so happy to see so many people come out to get informed about their voting options this year.”
JCI Kootenay organizes this as a public event. The Chamber has its own event which is open only to members and closed to the public which is coming up Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. at the Heritage Inn.
The attendance was quite a jump from the last municipal election in 2010.
Byford said there could be many things that contribute to such a good attendance.
“It could have been the promotion, it could have been because we have so many candidates running this year, or that people are really feeling that they need a change in the community,” she said. “Whatever it was that inspired so many people we are so happy that everyone did come out to listen and to meet the candidates. I think it was especially important this year, given that there were so many candidates to chose from.”
She said they really commend everyone for coming out to listen and hear the candidates’ opinions and platforms.
“With so many candidates, it always is tricky to determine timing,” she said. “We want to make sure that everyone gets a chance to speak and let the audience know a little bit about who they are and why they’re running. As well we want to get to as many of the audience questions as we can.”
In planning for the event they decided to keep the speaking time short and brief. She said they gave the candidates advanced notice of the amount of time they’d have to speak, so they could practice. “That was just to ensure that we got through as many questions from the audience as we could, as well as got to hear from everyone,” she said. “The event really served as an introduction to the candidates an introduction to their platforms as well as their attitudes.”
She said they were happy that so many people came out and for the opportunity to host the forum.
The candidates’ information is listed on the civic elections tab at www.election2014.civicinfo.bc.ca.