Have a say on issues at pre-election workshop

The City of Cranbrook will be seeking residents' input at a workshop coming up on Thursday, March 13 at the Heritage.

What are the biggest problems facing Cranbrook? What should council be doing about them? What would make you want to vote in the next local election?

The City of Cranbrook will be asking residents these questions at a workshop coming up on Thursday, March 13 at the Heritage.

Cranbrook Community Conversation is a joint initiative of the City and the Association of Kootenay and Boundary Local Governments (AKBLG).

“That’s a collection of all of the elected officials from the East and West Kootenay,” said Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski.

Facilitator Leslie Taylor, a former mayor of Banff and a one-time superintendent of Banff National Park, will lead the workshop, which will consist of round-table discussions around the issues Cranbrook should be talking about in the lead-up to the November municipal election, and asks participants what they would like more information about, and how to encourage more people to vote.

“It is described as a community conversation, not ‘come and hear what your local politicians have to say’. It’s really what do the citizens have to say to their local politicians,” said Stetski.

At the last municipal election in 2011, only 33 per cent of eligible voters actually placed a vote.

“Really, that’s the bottom line: how do we get more of our citizens involved in our municipalities and taking an interest in voting in elections?” said Stetski.

Taylor will prepare a report based on the discussion at the workshop, which will be presented to council. The report will also be useful to candidates in the next election to know what issues are important to Cranbrook residents.

Cranbrook Community Conversation will be held on Thursday, March 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Heritage Inn. A pizza and salad buffet dinner will be provided. Advance registration is required by phoning Kelly Thorsteinson at City Hall (250-426-4211) or emailing kelly.thorsteinson@cranbrook.ca.