By DREW WINCHESTER
Voters will get the opportunity to mingle with the eight candidates for Cape Coral City Council at Gulf Coast Village, when the retirement community hosts a meet and greet Thursday night.
All eight candidates have confirmed their attendance, according to Melissa Wallace, wellness director at Gulf Coast Village.
Candidates include: Incumbent Pete Brandt and John Carioscia for District 2; Incumbent Bill Deile and Lenny Nesta for District 3; Rana Erbrick and Scott Morris in District 5; and Incumbent Derrick Donnell and Dave Stokes in District 7.
The event is scheduled to be moderated by Cape Coral News-Press Editor Tom Hayden, but Wallace said no debates will take place.
What: City Council Candidate Meet and Greet
Where: Gulf Coast Village, Santa Barbara Boulevard
When: Thursday, Sept 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
"The moderator will introduce the candidates and then each candidate will have five minutes to give an introductory statement," Wallace added.
Voters will have the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates after their introduction, but will also have the shot to have their questions answered one on one when the candidates break for the meet and greet portion.
Gulf Coast Village has hosted similar events in the past but Wallace said this year might be the most important meet and greet yet due to low voter turnout. Only 11 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the September primary election.
"Everyone has a voice in Cape Coral and we want to give the residents the opportunity to listen to what the candidates have to say," Wallace said, adding, "Voter turnout was so low we want to get as many people out there as possible."
The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the candidates are expected to be introduced and make their opening statements at approximately 7:15 p.m.
The event is expected to last roughly two hours.
Also during the meet and greet event, Gulf Coast Village will be hosting a food drive aimed at helping to feed seniors in the community, according to Wallace.
The food will go to the Senior Friendship Centers, which offers home delivered meals and dining sites for seniors. The group helps at least 80 seniors in Cape Coral
Wallace said they were looking for canned goods, particularly those high in protein like tuna fish or peanut butter.
"This is for seniors everywhere," Wallace added.
For more information, contact Gulf Coast Village at 772-1333.