A record number of 30 candidates filed nomination papers in the hopes of filling eight councillor spots on Red Deer city council.
On Oct. 21, Red Deerians will cast a ballot for a field that features five incumbents, six Red Deer First members, a handful of businessmen, a former councillor and a number of relatively unknowns.
“We’ve had a lot of engagement opportunities over the last year,” said Frieda McDougall, returning officer. “People are plugged into the processes. I think this is just a demonstration of interest. It’s a good day for Red Deer.”
Some of the hot button issues debated at the upcoming forums are expected to include the controversial bike lane pilot, a ward system, council accountability and city spending.
Next week, Red Deerians will have the chance to hear from candidates at the first candidate forum, on Oct. 2 at the Golden Circle from 6:30-9 p.m.
Voters will also answer a non-binding plebiscite question: Do you want the City of Red Deer divided into wards?
The plebiscite was added to the ballot in response to public feedback.
In February, council voted against adding a question on the ballot. After some public feedback including a Let Us Vote petition, council changed its tune in March agreeing to add a plebiscite question.
The city will host a public information session featuring a panel discussion on the two systems on Oct. 7 at the iHotel on 67th Street at 5:30 p.m.
Council (elect eight)