All five candidates were present on Tuesday night for the ward 7 council forum at Mount Pleasant Community Hall.
The night of debate had several common themes drawn from what each of the candidates said.
However, the most significant theme that resounded from four of the five candidates was that City Hall, under the current administration, is misleading the community.
Brent Alexander, a candidate in the running, said that “Infrastructure and community issues are not being planned for.”
Brent’s campaign for councilor of ward 7 has been consistently pushing the idea that it’s time to regain trust in City Hall and establish better financial management. He believes that City Hall is ignoring the citizens of the community.
Margot Aftergood, one of the two female candidates in the running, said that “we need change. City Hall is operating like there’s endless amounts of money,” a comment that affirms Alexander’s thoughts as well.
Marek Hejduk, another ward 7 candidate, said chillingly that “City council has time and time again betrayed its citizens.”
Echoing the words of Bill Smith, candidate for the mayoral vote on October 16th, ward 7 candidate Dean Brawn said that “the mayor has had his time, ward 7 desperately needs change.”
“We need to get the city back to lower taxes, more jobs and city decisions made by community citizens. Many decisions right now are made with little to no community input,” said Brawn.
Out of the five candidates in the running, incumbent Druh Farrell was the only one who did not comment on the current state of City Hall’s relationship with the community.
Alexander had the most to say about City Hall’s apparent deceptive nature under the current leadership.
“Do you really trust a city who asks you what you want but doesn’t put your vision into place? The city claims it has plans for traffic, transit, seniors, and zoning and you have to trust that it’s going to work. But it doesn’t work, your community problems will not be solved under the current leadership,” said Alexander.
“If we don’t listen to community input then we’ll never learn.”
Other themes of the night that seemed to concern both community attendee’s and forum organizers included traffic, zoning and tax issues.
The Mount Pleasant council forum had a visibly more interested crowd than the SAIT forum a week ago as the night consisted of a quiet room with everyone listening intently. There was also some engagement and debate between the crowd and council candidates.
Last night’s forum also had a clearly larger gathering of people in comparison to the forum at SAIT on September 26th.
In his opening statement Brent Alexander noted that the Mount Pleasant forum had “the best attendance from any event yet.”
The hall was packed wall to wall with attendee’s eager to hear what the prospective councilors had to say about community issues and policies. There were no seats available once the forum began and people were standing around at the back.
The election date for all wards across the city is set to happen on October 16th, the same day as the mayoral election.