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Town holds first of two election forums


As the date draws near to the next municipal election the Town is offering a brief explanation of duties associated with being a councillor or the mayor.
The Town held the first of two such presentations Thursday night. While participation was still low, there were still a few interested faces in the crowd.
Town of The Pas Chief Administrative Officer Randi Salamanowicz gave the presentation in place of Jennifer Early, the Town’s Assistant Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Electoral Officer.
Over the span of approximately 40 minutes Salamanowicz ran through the dos and don’ts for what candidates prior to and after the election, including the roles and responsibilities of those who have been elected into a seat on council.
Included in the facts laid out were how much candidates could spend on their campaign -$5,000 for mayor and $2,500 for councillor- who is qualified to run and what elected officials are expected to do in their roles once elected.
One of the most popular questions asked every election is how much time you have to spend on your duties. Estimates typically ran as 15 to 20 hours per week.
The pay is also nothing you’ll retire on. The mayor receives $17,914.52 per year while the deputy mayor earns $12,067.88 and councillors get $10,808.88. Thirty per cent of that amount is tax free also.
For those still eyeing the idea of seeking a council seat there’s still time. Candidates can register at any point until September 18, with nominations being held the week of September 12 to 18.
According to Early thus far only three candidates have declared themselves for the election, including current mayor Jim Scott and current council Brian Roque who are both running for mayor this time around. Roland Lesann is the only other declared candidate and he has put his name forward for a council seat.
Both councillors Margaret Commodore and Crystal Krost stated they would be putting their names in again as well, though neither had formally done so as of press time.
I potentially big change for this year’s election is there will be significantly fewer polls available on election day itself, October 24th. This year the Town will be offering just two polling stations -one located at the Roy H. Johnston Arena and the other at the Town offices- as well as a mobile poll that can get to places where residents may have difficulty with mobility, such as seniors homes or the hospital. In past years there have been five polls in addition to the mobile poll.
Cost savings as well as need were cited as two reasons for the reduction.
Scott was also on hand at the presentation and he spoke about his term in office.
“The afterglow of the election lasts about three minutes,” said Scott, noting you are constantly busy as mayor. “If you’re going to get elected listen to the people and (do your) homework.”
The second forum is scheduled to be held on September 4th at noon at the Town offices located at 81 Edwards Avenue.

Trent Allen