WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - The first of two candidate forums in Wichita Falls took place Monday. The event was hosted by the the League of Women Voters.
With early voting one week away, they are working to make sure residents get informed and educated on those vying for their votes.
Since they are a non-partisan organization a few candidates did not speak because the group always presents both sides.
Those who did tackled several questions and explained why they feel they are fit for the position they are after.
Including the two candidates going after the Wichita County Commissioner Precinct 4 seat, incumbent Jeff Watts and Catie Robinson.
One of their questions was if they feel there are ways the school districts, city councils and county can collaborate to make better use of tax dollars.
“One that comes to mind is emergency management in our area,” said Jeff Watts. “The county maintains emergency management, the city of Wichita Falls does an excellent job with emergency management as well, those functions could be combined.”
He adds human resources could be combined too and used the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District as an example.
Robinson said they could all work together to increase voter turnout.
“The school board could do a lot in this too and help seniors get register and understand the process of voting,” said Robinson. “It could increase the turnout all over the county.”
She said with current low turnout a small amount of people are making decisions, like passing the jail bond.
The two candidates running for City Councilor District 4 Nicholas Schreiber and Tim Brewer were also presented a series of questions.
One of them was what is the most pressing issue in their district. Brewer said he feels it is the same all over the city.
“We need growth to be able to increase our revenue to be able to do the things that need to be done,” Brewer said. “So most of the things that I see are job growth, control taxes and stay within the budget.”
Shreiber said it is supporting our public works.
“To me as a long-term marketable solution for a city in north Texas, water solutions is one of them.” Schreiber said. “That’s working on Ringold with the Tarrant Water Regional District and solidifying that future water usage for this city.”
The candidates also talked with those who came out. Something Mayor Stephen Santellana and Mitesh Desai, District 5 Councilor were able to do as well even though they could not speak during the forum because the League said their opponents were not able to make it.
“We never support a candidate nor a political party nor do we oppose a candidate or a political party, so when we have a forum like this to give the voters information we need to present both sides,” said Kaye Holland, President of the League of Women Voters of Wichita Falls.
Tuesday’s candidate forum is at 7 p.m. inside the Wichita Falls City Council Chamber. It is scheduled to feature U.S. Representative, District 13 race and Wichita Falls Independent School District school board races.