The Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce has set up public coffee chats with prospective mayors prior to the municipal election on Oct. 20.
All the coffee chats with mayoral candidates will take place on Wednesdays at Smitty’s Restaurant from 10–11:30 a.m. There is no cost, but pre-registration through the chamber is recommended. The mornings will include a short introduction followed by an open forum with the candidate of the day.
The first coffee chat will feature incumbent Mike Ruttan, on Wednesday, Sept. 12. Former mayor John Douglas will be the guest on Sept. 26, current councillor and mayoral candidate Sharie Minions on Oct. 3 and former mayoral candidate Kevin Wright on Oct. 10.
Two dates—Sept. 19 and Oct. 17—have not been designated with a candidate yet, chamber executive director Bill Collette said. Sept. 19 is being held for a “pending candidate announcement,” although he could not say who it would be.
“We’ve only got the six dates and I do realize we have five people who have thrown their hat in the ring. We want to offer it to people we have connected with the most,” he said.
“This is a fully chamber-funded thing.”
A mayoral all-candidates forum hosted by the chamber and Alberni District Labour Council will take place on Thursday, Oct. 4 from 7–9 p.m. at the Italian Canadian Centre, 4065 Sixth Ave., Port Alberni.
Six candidates have declared their intent to run for mayor so far: John Douglas, Mike Ruttan, Sharie Minions, Kevin Wright, Gary Robertson and Denis Sauvé.
The nomination period for municipal elections in the City of Port Alberni and Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, including School District 70, open on Sept. 4 and close on Sept. 14. The general election will take place Oct. 20.
You can find a list of candidates who have filed their nomination papers on the city’s website.