With the municipal election ten months away, a local historian and author is arranging a series of public forums to promote discussion surrounding Princeton issues.
“It will be a meeting of Princeton community people regardless of age, rank or political opinion,” said organizer John Bartlett.
“The forum will provide a face to face opportunity for people in the community to share their thoughts about the directions Princeton might take in the coming years.”
Bartlett will moderate the meetings, which are scheduled to be held on the second Sunday of each month at the Princeton Library from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The first forum is this Sunday, January 14.
Bartlett hopes to identify key issues at the initial meeting. He said those will likely include the proposed indoor pool, use of the KVR trail, infrastructure and the status of town reserves.
The forum is also open to issues affecting Area H and the school district, he added.
Bartlett said he feels these meetings are necessary, given how little time voters get to interact with candidates during an election period.
“Over the years Princeton has gone from feast to famine in terms of the number of people offering themselves as candidates. The last election in 2014 saw all the seats filled by acclamation. The previous election in 2011 had six candidates for council and two for mayor and the 2008 election had not less than 16 candidates for council and four for mayor.”
He anticipates a wide field in 2018.
“Given the local scuttlebutt, and an early declaration by [two candidates] this year’s election looks like it might challenge the 2008 figure.
Bartlett said he hopes to have a guest speaker at the September or October meeting to explain the referendum planned by the province on voting procedures.
Everyone is invited to attend the forums, including candidates for election and members of the sitting council.
“We want more transparency and it’s an opportunity for candidates to present themselves and make a pitch.”