Former Mayor Bill Ramsden gives his view of Saturday's Municipal election after attending final all-candidates forum
William H (Bill) Ramsden was a member of Nelson City Council from 1981 to 1995 — the latter years serving as Mayor. To aid with The Nelson Daily election coverage, the former Mayor agreed to share his thought following the final forum Wednesday at the former Central School gymnasium.
The All Candidates Forum held last night at the Central School is, in my opinion, the most important forum of the election, sponsored by the University Women’s Association, the Nelson Teachers Association, School District No. 8. and Nelson Star.
I believe that this particular forum is the last chance for all the candidates to impress the voting public.
It is, therefore, important for two reasons.
Firstly, to get their point across for one last time correcting any false impressions they might have created during the campaign.
Secondly, for the public to have one last time to assess, or re-assess, each candidate, to ask their questions, and make up their minds on who they want to see represent them for the next three years on council and school board.
As usual, the Central School gym was packed, in spite of a raging snowstorm that accompanies it each election year.
There is now a couple of days left for all these people to talk to their families, friends and neighbours about the election and form their opinions on how to vote.
The amount of people this forum now affects has not only doubled but could even triple.
Was there a clear winner?
Probably, for the Mayor’s position.
One had the persona as well as knowledge brought about by experience. The other, had good ideas around more citizens input to council.
The School Board is a race about experience, age, and youth.
This race should have an interesting outcome.
As for the race for the council five incumbents are seeking re-election.
However, three new faces hope to take the remaining seat on council, or nose out one, or two, of the incumbents. This, I feel, is where the true race is.
The challengers vary in their ideas from “no growth” to “chickens in the city” and ” more planning and consultation”.
These people were knowledgeable, well spoken, and have a true passion for the city in which they live.
For me I preferred the planning and consultation idea.
The no growth idea brings stagnation and chickens in the city will only bring bears, raccoons and skunks to residents back doors, as professed by one mayoralty candidate.
Questions from the audience did not faze them and they had as many excellent answers as did the incumbents.
Should the incumbents feel threatened?
While the experienced Councillors had knowledgeable and informative answers… they should have.
Their experience runs from six to 15 years, why wouldn’t they?
However, the challengers have a wealth of knowledge too, and gave very creative solutions and ideas for opportunities facing Council in the next 3 or more years.
This community is lucky to have people of this caliber wanting to work for our best interests.
I think there will be some unexpected surprises and it will be interesting to see the results. Nelsonites take their politics very seriously, as do I.
The forum was well run. The moderator did an excellent job and all candidates were treated fairly and with respect.
Kudos to everyone.
The important thing now is for all eligible voters to get out and vote for the candidate of their choice.
You need only to vote for those people you want… not necessarily for all six positions on Council.
Please VOTE at Central School this Saturday.
Make it the best turnout we have ever had.,
Call your friends and neighbours, if you’re able, and offer transportation to the polls .