An all-candidates forum last night provided a venue for voters in Altona to get to know the nine candidates running for town council.
The five incumbents are Rick Martel, Ted Klassen, Brad Dueck, Earl Dick, and Terry Wiebe.
They're being challenged by Don Braun, Tim Fast, Ann Kroeker, and Nick Hildebrand.
The incumbents outlined some of the accomplishments council has made over the past four years such as improvements to infrastructure and maintaining a competitive mill rate with neighboring communities.
The completion of the pathway was highlighted and expressions were made of expanding it.
One of the challengers outlined the need for transparency and full disclosure by counsellors.
Others talked about fiscal responsibility and the need to give back to the community.
All the nominees fielded questions from the audience asking for their views on issues ranging from Sunday shopping in Altona and recruitment of physicians to financial support for Altona Minor Hockey and new ways to stimulate commercial development.
The two candidates vying for a seat on the R.M. of Rhineland council got a chance to air their views as well.
Benno Loewen is challenging incumbent Tony Harms in Ward 1 where a large hog barn proposal became a contentious issue for many ratepayers in the area.
Loewen was critical of council for the lack of assistance and support local landowners in the ward received in their fight to keep out the proposed 1600 sow operation.
Loewen promised to be hands-on and ready to personally assist ratepayers in the municipality on any issue.
Harms talked about improvements that have been made to drainage in the R.M. and the need for councillors to be flexible when priorities change.