OUR VIEW: Give the people a chance to speak

Trying to shoe horn school board trustees and other candidates into one meeting may hinder people seeking to be informed voters.

It’s civic election time and the issues that are on the minds of voters in this area are numerous – what to do with the deer, employment, senior health care, just to name a few.

The teachers’ strike is an issue that could be on the mind of people voting for school board trustees.

Local voters will also be asked to vote on referendum questions.

Area C residents will be asked if they support a bylaw (1476) to establish a cemetery service and provide funds for the service.

Voters that reside in Area D will be asked if they support a bylaw that would authorize the borrowing of funds for improvements to the Grand Forks Aquatic Centre and an amendment to Bylaw 1358, which would increase the annual requisition amount from $500,000 to $650,000.

Residents who reside within the city will be asked if they are in favour of city council adopting Bylaw 1922, 2011, which would authorize the borrowing of up to $1.3 million for emergency water supply for fire protection, using a 25-year debt term.

Also, they will be asked if they are in favour of city council adopting Bylaw 1923, 2011, which would authorize a borrowing of up to $4.2 million for the capital renewal of road, water and sewer infrastructure, using a 25-year debt term.

As was the case for the federal election, there will be all-candidate forums for candidates to speak and people to ask questions but in the case of the Nov. 9 forum for the City of Grand Forks at the high school auditorium, it will feature mayoral, city councillor and school trustee candidates and will run from 7 to 9 p.m., at least as of press time.

With three people running for mayor, three for the school board and 12 for city council, that will be 18 people that have to make opening remarks and based on the turnout for the B.C. Southern Interior federal candidates, the auditorium should be packed with people with questions.

Based on sheer volume, it’s possible that people might not get to ask the questions they want and some topics may be missed or glossed over and that isn’t good for people looking to cast an informed vote.

– Grand Forks Gazette

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