HESPERIA — Pastor Darrell Harrelson of Oasis of Faith Christian Center said his church will host a Hesperia City Council Candidate Forum as Election Day approaches.

Harrelson said all seven council candidates, which includes James Blocker, Larry Bird, Bill Jensen, Anthony Rhoades, Bob Stine, Rebekah Swanson and incumbent Eric Schmidt, have confirmed they will be attending the forum.

“Over the years, we have been approached by many church members as to who to vote for and what the candidates actually stood for,” said Harrelson, who started the church in Hesperia with his wife, Carla, in 1988. “Since this is our own local interest, we felt it was best to hold this forum and let them hear from the candidates for themselves so they can make their own decisions.”

Harrelson, the moderator of the forum, said he expects a full house during the event at his church that has approximately 200 members and sits on the corner of Lemon Street and E Avenue.

“We will introduce the candidates, then give roughly two to three minutes to tell the people what their plan is for the city if they are elected to city council,” Harrelson said. “Since this forum or town hall is open to the public, we will then allow the guests to ask their own question to the candidates.”

Harrelson said the candidates will be asked several questions, including some topics of “most concern” to his congregation like the Tapestry project, raising taxes, the creation of new jobs, the possible legalization of medical marijuana and “talk of trying to get a gambling casino in Hesperia.”

“The most important outcome we are expecting is for the citizens of Hesperia to receive information from the candidates, since most of the citizens rarely attend city council meetings,” Harrelson, “We would just like for as many concerned citizens to turn out and to bring their questions so they actually hear from the candidates personally.”

The candidate forum is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Oct. 25 at Oasis of Faith Christian Center, located at 17250 Lemon St. in Hesperia. For more information, call 760-948-0745 or visit www.oofcc.org.

Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227, RDeLa Cruz@VVDailyPress.com or on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.