In a replay from the last municipal election, Gord Zaitsoff will once again challenge incumbent Lawrence Chernoff for the opportunity to be mayor of Castlegar.
Zaitsoff is also running for re-election as regional director for Area J, Regional District of Central Kootenay. If he is successful in both races, his intention is to keep both seats.
Zaitsoff has been the area J regional director for 12 years. After working for Celgar for 28 years, he now operates his own contracting business.
Even though he lives just outside of Castlegar city limits, he operates his business in town. After being encouraged by many people to put his name forward, he decided to enter the race.
“Having done the regional district for 12 years now, people know my style. I think my strong point is my leadership skills and the results I have obtained,” Zaitsoff stated.
One priority for Zaitsoff is to fight for improved healthcare.
“We need a strong voice on the Hospital Board.” Zaitsoff defined another priority, “Economic development is key to the success of any area for community sustainability.”
He would also like to see more emphasis on long term planning. Zaitsoff feels more ideas should begin from the ground up, instead of the top down.
If elected, he would like to put forward a plan to create an advisory committee made up of residents and business owners to provide ideas. Zaitsoff expressed, “There should be more participation from the residents.”
Mayor Chernoff is no stranger to Castlegar politics. After his career as a paramedic, he has already spent 15 years as a city councillor and nine years as mayor. After seriously weighing the decision to run again and much discussion with friends and family he decided he would like to run for another term.
“I think I can still contribute to the community. I really want to be part of the future of the city of Castlegar. There are still things on the table I would like to see done and completed,” Chernoff said as he explained his decision to seek another term.
In the next four years Chernoff would like to continue looking after infrastructure. He explained, “To me, it is looking after the core things in the community, the sewer, the water and the roads. Those are the big things to do in the next four years. I think they are important. Our job is about how we maintain those core infrastructure projects. If we concentrate on those things in the next four years, I think the city is going to have a great future.”
Chernoff summed up his motivation saying, “I am passionate about what I do and my job. I take pride in our community and our citizens. I think I can still contribute at this stage at a high level.”