Voters in Castlegar chose an incumbent councillor to replace four-term incumbent Mayor Lawrence Chernoff on Saturday.
Bruno Tassone defeated Chernoff handily on Saturday’s civic election, with 46.3 per cent of the vote. His rivals, Deb McIntosh, won 27 per cent of the vote, while Chernoff came in third in the race at 25.8 per cent.
“I’m overwhelmed by the numbers,” Tassone told Castlegar News. “They obviously wanted change and the numbers show it. It’s very humbling.”
Tassone said he planned to keep city hall accessible to the public.
“I think the biggest thing is a total dialogue with the public. There’s going to be an open-door policy, there’s not going to be any secrets, and everything is going to be up-front.”
Mayor Lawrence Chernoff, who saw his 13-year stint as top civic leader end Saturday night, sounded upbeat despite the loss.
“The public made their decision and that’s the way it goes,” said Chernoff. “It is a difficult ending but I am proud of what I did as mayor of this community, and I am not hanging my head at all.
“I am looking forward to the next stage of my life.”
Chernoff said he felt his legacy would last for some time.
“I’ve dedicated 28 years to public life, if that’s not a contribution I don’t know what is.”
While they looked for change at the top, voters also re-elected all three incumbents seeking a new mandate. Dan Rye collected 1584 votes, Florio Vassilakakis garnered 1356 votes, and Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff 1239 votes.
The top council vote-getter , however, was Bergen Price, who collected 1688 votes. He was followed by Cherryl MacLeod with 1537, Maria McFaddin with 1389 votes, then the three incumbents.
The new council is both gender-balanced and has an equal number of incumbents and newcomers.
Vote counts for the remaining councilors were: Nicole Hergert — 1155, Janna Sylvest — 1031, Brian Smitheram —1021, Tyler Maddocks — 940 and Gordon Lamont — 861.
About 2,866 people voted in both today’s and advance polls. That makes a turnout of over 47 per cent.
Area J votes
Voters in Area J, in the rural area surrounding Castlegar, stuck with their incumbent director Rick Smith. Smith beat challenger Gord Zaitsoff by a vote of 363 (53.1%) to 320, (46.9%). About 683 poeple voted in the race.