Kamloops trustee-candidate debate draws large crowd
A dozen potential Kamloops-Thompson school district trustees gathered at St. Andrews on the Square tonight (Nov. 14) for the one and only all-candidates forum for that race.
Notably absent was Adrian Miller, the 26-year-old Thompson Rivers University student seeking a seat on the board who spent a night last week in jail and has since come under fire from local media after claiming to have played college basketball at a university in Prince George.
Other Kamloops candidates who weren't in attendance were Mitchell Messmer and Boris Gimbarzevsky.
But incumbents Joan Cowden, Diane Dosch, Annette Glover, Kathleen Karpuk and Gerald Watson — as well as hopefuls Lynda Douglas, Tanya Orozco, Meghan Wade, Acacia Schmietenknop and Ryan Foster — were present.
Also participating were Cara McKelvey and Melvin Thistlethwaite, each of whom are seeking election in the Logan Lake-Savona area of School District No. 73 as rural trustees.
The debate was mild in comparison with last week's media-sponsored all-candidates event for council and mayoral hopefuls, but the 60 or so people in attendance were well-engaged throughout the event, which was moderated by Kamloops Daily News editor Mel Rothenburger.
"I thought it went well," said incumbent Watson, who organized the debate.
"It was a very large turnout."
Big topics were the provincial government's net-zero mandate, SD73's facilities and district reconfiguration.
At one point, Rothenburger polled the candidates to see who was in favour of the net-zero mandate.
Watson was the only one who raised his hand.
There are a total of 21 candidates — including 13 in Kamloops — vying for nine trustee seats on SD73's board of education.
Five of those seats will be filled by Kamloops representatives, while the other four will go to rural trustees.
For full coverage of each candidate's views on educational issues, check the Nov. 15 print edition of Kamloops This Week.