Castlegar city councillor Florio Vassilakakis is the first person to publicly announce intentions to run for mayor in the upcoming byelection.
His announcement means that the byelection will now be for both mayor and one council seat as a sitting councillor can not run in the election, so Vassilakakis will have to step down from his council seat.
Vassilakakis has been a city councillor for the last eight years.
“I’m also proud of my work in supporting the city, both as a local business owner and dedicated public servant,” said Vassilakakis in his announcement. “We have made tremendous progress, but of course, I’m also humbled by how much we have yet to do.
“With the unanticipated resignation of the former mayor, the people of Castlegar deserve a candidate who can step up immediately. Someone who brings youthful energy, fresh ideas, experience and re-commitment to working on their behalf.”
Several city councillors have already thrown their support behind Vassilakakis’ bid for mayor.
In a Facebook post, councillor Bergen Price said, “Florio is a friend, an incredibly smart guy and has been a huge asset to this community. I support Flo’s run for mayor.”
Councillor Sue Heaton-Sherstibitoff is also supporting him.
Vassilakakis says his agenda is “simply making people’s lives better.”
“Let’s make sure we are open for business, that our airport, health services, tourist attractions, professional services, and image are ready to welcome a post-pandemic boom in rural life,” said Vassilakakis.
He says he would also like to find ways to increase good-paying jobs, make affordable housing more accessible and develop services and recreation.
Council is expected to appoint an elections officer in the next few weeks with an election following within 80 days from that point.