Candidate forums start Wed.

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Candidate forums start Wed.The first of three candidate forums will be held Wednesday, Sept. 23, to give contenders of the IWV Water District Board of Directors an opportunity to air their platforms and views before the voting public.

The IWV Economic Development Corp., Ridgecrest Area Association of Realtors and Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce are collaborating to host the IWVWD candidates, as well as those seeking seats on the Ridgecrest City Council.

All forums will be streamed live at 6 p.m. on the City of Ridgecrest YouTube Channel. “Normally, we rent out the facilities to whatever organization wants to host a forum,” said City Manager Ron Strand.

“But since people are locked out of everything, with all the COVID restrictions, we wanted to make sure we offered up Council Chambers for free.” With public attendance prohibited, and Zoom being limited in capacity, “I thought this way more people would be able to participate.”

Strand said that meetings will also be uploaded to the city’s YouTube channel for anyone to view after the fact.

“We hope to use these forums to inform the public of each candidate’s position on very important issues in the Indian Wells Valley,” reads a statement from the three host agencies. “These forums will allow the candidates to have a real forum for the public to get to know them.”

For Wednesday’s forum, all five candidates seeking one of three four-year seats on the water board have confirmed that they will attend. Contenders include incumbents Ron Kicinski and Charles Cordell, as well as challengers Chuck Griffin, Andrew Guetzkow and Mallory Boyd.

Voters can e-mail questions for prospective board members to candidatequestions@ridgecrestchamber.com. Committee members from each of the three agencies will designate a moderator who will help ask questions and facilitate candidate discussions.

At press time, Scott O’Neil (IWVEDC), Norman Alexander (RAAR) and Tim Smith (RCC) had been tapped to serve as moderators for the forums.

The candidates seeking the two-year mayor seat, which include Eric Bruen, Lindsey Stephens, Christian West and Tom Wiknich, will participate in a forum held Tuesday, Sept. 29.

The five candidates seeking two available four-year seats on the council include Lori Acton, Christian Aguirre, Kyle Blades, Steve Morgan and Solomon Rajaratnam will participate in a forum the following evening, Wednesday, Sept. 30.

For more information call RAAR at 760-499-1098.

Story First Published: 2020-09-18