This evening at 6 p.m., 39 North Downtown will be hosting a candidate forum at the Veterans Memorial Office at the Outlets at Legends, across from the IMAX movie theater on 300 Howard Drive. Sparks voters are invited to come and meet the candidates running for the Ward 4 City Council seat and the Mayor of Sparks who will be on the 2018 Primary Election ballot.
While many people know current City Council members Charlene Bybee (re-running for Ward 4) and Ron Smith (running for Mayor), this will give residents a chance to learn about the other candidates for these positions and ask questions in person and via Facebook Live.
The candidates running for Mayor include: Ron Smith, Eric Wacker, Jeff Bonano and Wendy Stolyarov (who will not be able to attend). Candidates running for Ward 4 include: Brian Hunt, Rudy Viola Jr., and Charlene Bybee (who will not be able to attend due to an already-booked engagement).
Within a general format, the candidates will each be allowed to give an opening statement up to three minutes and share their positions on issues affecting Sparks by answering questions asked by a moderator and audience. For those that can’t attend in person, this event will also be live streamed through Facebook and monitored so that citizens can ask questions through the social media network during the event.
“We wanted to host this before the early voting period that starts on Saturday,” says 39 North President Kim Ciesynski. “Ron and Charlene have been around for a long time, but this is an opportunity to get to know who all of the candidates are. We will be taking questions from the audience and pulling questions from Facebook Live; this is about getting to know who these people are and why they’re qualified to run our city,” she says.
39 North aims to be the connection between residents, businesses, and everything going on in Sparks. It hosted a candidate forum in the November 2016 election cycle that gave Sparks voters valuable insights into the candidates’ positions so that they could make informed decisions on who to vote for.
Early Voting will be starting on May 26 and will run through June 8 with the Primary Election to be held on June 12. 39 North chose to host tonight’s candidate forum at the Veterans Memorial Office because it’s centrally-located and the building can fit a lot of people.
“We want to get the very best candidates out there so that people can understand who they’re voting for, so a lot of participation from the community would be great,” Ciesynski says.
A recording of the May 23 Sparks Candidate Forum will also be able to view on 39 North’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/39NorthDowntown/