The polling station at the Elkford Community Conference Centre is open until 8 p.m. tonight. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

Word on the street – biggest issues for Elkford voters

The Free Press asks voters in the District of Elkford what matters to them on general voting day

More infrastructure and entertainment for families and seniors were a top priority for Elkford residents voting in the 2018 Municipal Election today.

District spending was also a concern with the construction of a new, multimillion-dollar municipal office currently underway.

The Free Press asked a random selection of voters at the polling station on general voting day what they thought were the biggest issues in Elkford.

Bert and Michele Schalekamp would like to see more business activity in the town.

“I think growing the community and attracting residents to the community, and businesses,” said Michele.

“Another big issue for me is how do we retain young people?” added Bert.

The couple acknowledged the need for quality childcare has been a hot topic in Elkford for many years, along with schooling.

“I know it’s not a municipal issue but I think supporting schools, a good school in town is really important as well, so that you can ensure your kids will get a good education because people will not stay in a town if there’s not decent education, they will not stay in a town if there’s no childcare,” said Bert.

Laura Sawler hopes the new council will be made up of a mix of newcomers and incumbents.

“Getting people in that are fresh and have new ideas I think is going to be good,” she said.

The young mother-of-two welcomed the new Devonian Park downtown and improvements to the concession stand, but would like to see more infrastructure for families.

“We really wanted a spray park and that’s just not something that they (council) would budge on,” she said.

Sawler also believes communication between the District and community could be improved. She had questions about funding decisions, such as the new district office and the fate of the old building.

Jeff Hardy was concerned about District spending.

“One of the biggest problems that I’ve had is the new offices that they put in there, they’ve spent like $2 million on it and I just think that it was unjustified,” he said.

“I come from Victoria and in the City of Victoria they don’t even have a building as big as that.”

The Elkford shift worker would like to see taxpayers’ money directed to other community initiatives, such as the local skill hill.

A senior couple, who did not wish to be named, highlighted the need for more seniors’ entertainment.

“There isn’t very much to do in Elkford,” the woman said.

“After 6 p.m., most things are closed except for the grocery store and there’s not much to do,” her husband added. “In the hospital, there’s no doctors after 6 p.m. here either.”

“That’s an issue,” his wife said.

The Elkford polling station is open until 8 p.m. tonight and located at the Elkford Community Conference Centre.

After the polls close, the votes will be counted and announced via Civic Info BC, the District of Elkford and The Free Press.

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Elkford man Bert Schalekamp on general voting day. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

Laura Sawler would like to see a spray park in Elkford. She’s pictured with her daughters Hailey, 5, and Jordan, 8. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

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