At least two city councillors are mulling a bid for the mayor’s seat in Castlegar.
With a little over two months to go before the municipal election, both Dan Rye and Deb McIntosh have mentioned on social media that they are considering running for mayor.
The announcement many are waiting for — whether incumbent mayor Lawrence Chernoff will run again — will likely take place next week. With the exception of one small break, Chernoff has been a part of Castlegar’s political scene since 1987 when he was first elected councillor. He has served three terms as mayor, nearly 13 years in all.
Rye says a lot of people have asked him over the last few years to consider a run for mayor.
“I have never come out publicly and said whether I will or I won’t. One of the reasons is that the incumbent mayor still has not declared what he is doing,” said Rye.
Rye’s name will be on the ballot one way or another — as mayor or councillor.
“In talking with a lot of people, they think there is going to be some change — and if there is going to be change, I want to be part of it.
“I have nothing against Lawrence — Lawrence has done a fantastic job. No one will have the passion that he has for the job as mayor,” added Rye.
But Rye feels that no one should be a lifetime politician.
“I think after you have done a number of terms, it is time to step aside and let someone come along. I believe in that even provincially and federally.”
Rye has been on Castlegar council for seven years and previously served two terms on Gold River council on Vancouver Island and half a term as their mayor.
Deb McIntosh has similar reasons for running, also hearing from many that she should run.
“After 16 years on council, I feel it is time to seriously consider running for mayor,” she said.
“I’ve been a strong advocate and a vocal voice at council. I am certainly known for my positions on things. We have made some good strides over the last couple years.”
“I think the fact that at least a couple of councillors [are considering] running for mayor is a clear indication that change is needed at the top,” added McIntosh.
“If by the filing date, I feel I will be the best one to put my name forward, then I will do that. But I am not so arrogant to think that I am the only one out there that could do it. I am certainly willing to put the very best interests of Castlegar first and if that means running for council again and standing behind the person who I think is best for the job — I will certainly do that.”
McIntosh says, “Each one of the seven is elected to lead,” advocating a leadership style that uses what everyone at the table has to offer.
The nomination period runs Sept. 4 to 14. Election day is Oct. 20.