Last night's (September 25) mayoral forum was full of jabs among candidates, punctuated by tough questioning from the public.
 
Among the many important issues raised in the debate at the Shell Theatre was photo radar and water billing.
 
One member of the public quizzed mayor Gale Katchur on why she has signs on developer's lands.
 
"Yes, I've taken some funding from some developers but a very small percentage, nobody can buy a person's vote," said Katchur. "This is about saying, we know that you're not going to make a decision based on the fact that I gave you $200 or $300."
 
WATER BILLING
 
Judy Sellin made waves with her different idea to help fix the water billing issue in the city.
 
"I think we have to look with city council at a 10 per cent discount for seniors and families that are on fixed incomes because it's getting too expensive and water is not a luxury, it is a necessity."
 
 Katchur spoke to the timing of her recent motion on a water leak program.
 
"When I discovered that there was other municipalities that were working on a program that would help compensate residents, I said why not now, we have to be looking at solutions and doing it now so that the new council can get to work on it as soon as they're in."
 
"The current response from city hall has been inadequate," said Randhawa. "This is a program that has plagued the city for years and we've put forward a real, concrete solution on fixing water billing and as mayor, we're going to hit the ground running on day one and fix this."
 
PHOTO RADAR
 
As the province debates whether to scrap the controversial program, the question was raised in the debate of the state of the program in the Fort.
 
"We have been looking at reallocating funds slowly year-by-year to put it into capital projects or educational programs," explained Katchur. "It does take time because we don't want to be putting a 10 to 12 per cent tax increase on our residents just to get rid of photo radar."
 
Randhawa stated it shouldn't be about the money.
 
"Photo radar is becoming a cash cow in this community and we need to make sure it's not just a revenue tool but a safety tool, focus initiatives on playground and school zones," said Randhawa. "I'm proud to be the only member of council to vote against expanding photo radar this term."
 
Safety was also on Sellin's mind.
 
"I would like to see it turned into Vision Zero, a program Edmonton has adopted and it's to reduce fatalities and less severe injuries through education."
 
Some of the other topics included fiscal responsibility and council members' promotional budgets.
 
The next debate will be between the council candidates, it will take place on October 2 at the Shell Theatre.
 
Advance voting is scheduled for October 4 from 12:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. and again on October 7 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., both located at the DCC.
 
Voting on October 16 is from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Legion, James Mowat School or the DCC.

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