The Castlegar All Candidates Forum was well attended on Oct. 5 with seats full and people standing around the perimeter of the room. Many more watched the event through the Castlegar News’ Facebook Live broadcast.
The forum was hosted by the Castlegar and Distrcit Chamber of Commerce and moderated by Suzanne Lehbauer.
All of the City of Castlegar candidates — Lawrence Chernoff, Maria McFaddin, Darcy Bell, Brian Bogle, Sandy Bojechko, Shirley Fahlstead, Sue Heaton-Shrerstibitoff, Cherryl McLeod and Florio Vassilakakis — attended as well as the two RDCK Area J candidates — Henny Hanegraaf and Kim Tassone.
The word of the night was “collaboration” with almost every candidate mentioning the word at one point or another during the evening.
Candidates were given opening and closing statements and the opportunity to answer questions submitted in writing from the audience.
The allotted time allowed for about a dozen questions covering the following topics: community safety, city employees, Sahlstrom gate decision, airport lands, inclusivity, ambulance service, land strategy/Brandson Park housing development, Millennium Ponds, homelessness, housing, yard waste and community grants.
The candidates used their opening and closing statements to tell people why they should select them as their representatives. Here are a few key words from each candidate:
Lawrence Chernoff — integrity, direction, mayor experience
Maria McFaddin — humility, listener, community collaboration
Darcy Bell — business administration experience, increase resources, hard work
Brian Bogle — housing priority, work with developers, business experience
Sandy Bojechko — labour activist, hearing from residents, accessibility improvements
Cherryl McLeod — council experience, researches decisions, asks hard questions
Sue Heaton-Shrerstibitoff — council experience/accomplishments, volunteerism, forward-thinking
Florio Vassilakakis — past council accomplishments, fiscal prudence, up-to-date on city business
Henny Hanegraaf — Union negotiation/labour management experience, volunteerism, collaboration skills
Kim Tassone — out spoken, responsible growth, water supply priority
Video of the forum can be viewed through the following two links. We apologize that a technical difficulty resulted in two clips with Lawrence Chernoff’s opening statement divided between the two videos.