With the registration period for those seeking council seats in the Oct. 26 general municipal election opening last week, Kirk Dawson has been busy.
The Senior Election Official for the City of Dauphin and the Rural Municipality of Dauphin said inquiries from prospective candidates and requests for registration packages have been brisk.
“There is tons of interest. (In the City) We’ve already got five registered and none of those are incumbents,” Dawson said. “We’ve had a few other inquiries beyond that. So for the first week basically, it’s under a week actually, it’s been very active.”
At this point, registered candidates for city council include Joe Houston, Ted Rea, Michael Winter, Carter Luke and Sharon Riehl while the mayorality is being contested by David Bosiak and Kerri Riehl.
In the RM two candidates have registered with incumbent councillor Tom Gibbs entering the race for reeve while incumbent reeve Ron Ryz has registered to contest for a council seat.
“Again there are a couple of other packages out, where we’re waiting for the registrations,” Dawson added.
Prospective candidates will have an opportunity to get a better feel for the job of an elected official when the City and RM hold prospective candidates forums, at the RM of Dauphin Office, July 13, at 7 p.m. for rural candidates and at City Hall, July 14, at 7 p.m. for city candidates.
At each forum municipal staff will lay out what is involved in being a councillor in terms of duties and time commitments while the two governments have partnered to bring in former Association of Manitoba Municipalities executive director Joe Masi as a keynote speaker each night.
“He’s been around politics for a long time and he’s going to be coming out and talking about what makes good councils and what doesn’t,” Dawson said. “It’s for anybody that’s considering running, to give them a little better perspective on what it might look like if they did put their name forward.”
While he waits for other registration packages to be returned Dawson is busy preparing for polling day. Currently he is hiring voting officials and assistant voting officials. About 30 people will be needed to assist with the city election while another 10 are required to help out in the RM process.
“These are the people that work at the polls on election day and the advanced polls.” he said, adding he already has an extensive list of interested applicants.
“We’ll probably start phoning next week. We have a list of the people in the past and I’ve got several other people that have mentioned their names, but I can always take more names. It’s sort of a first come, first serve thing,” Dawson said. “We’ll certainly get their names down and as they go down the list we’ll make sure we consider them.”
The nomination period for both head of council and council positions runs Sept. 14 to 20 with Sept. 21 as the withdrawal deadline.
Advance polling runs Oct. 3 to 21, and election day is Oct. 26, with polls open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.