City council byelection All Candidates Forum draws 60+ people

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
August 29th, 2013

More than 60 people were on hand last night for the city council byelection All Candidates Forum at the Sandman Inn, hosted by the chamber of commerce. Candidates Kirk Duff, Florio Vassilakakis, Antoinette Halberstadt and Tyler Maddocks offered opening and closing statements, as well as fielding questions from the crowd and from the two media outlets represented (The Castlegar Source and The Castlegar News).

Questions covered a broad range of topics, from youth engagement and seniors services to public safety, downtown revitalization, and political transparency.

Twenty-five-year-old Maddocks argued that his youth is an advantage, as it comes with the promise of new ideas and energy.

“I bring fresh ideas and a different perspective to the table,” he said. “I have a strong desire to get youth more involved in all areas of community life, while keeping a strong focus on working families and seniors.”

He said the city needs to improve its social media presence to better engage residents and to be more aggressive in using the Internet to attract new business.

Halberstadt’s currency was the flip side of Maddock’s age coin – she said that, at 64, she has decades of civic engagement and experience under her belt.

“I’ve worked as a journalist (and) as a city councillor, where I’ve had to listen to both sides of any story, ask hard questions, and bring things to light to make them transparent,” she said, adding in regard to the sitting city council, she has, “questions about what appears to be a top-down process”.

Vassilakakis pointed to his and his family’s significant investments in Castlegar – not just in terms of business and commerce, but also in supporting local causes and charities, time spent as director of the chamber of commerce, and so on.

“We want to see Castlegar grow culturally, economically, and sustainably,” he said, adding he feels there needs to be a sense of urgency around moving Castlegar forward. “Why don’t we have an economic development officer? Why are all our young people still leaving?”

Duff brought up the fact that whomever gets elected will only serve for one year before the next civic election, making his years on Castlegar council invaluable, as he already has the knowledge and has built the relationships necessary to use that short time frame to best advantage for Castlegar.

“My experience working for the community can be immediately put back to work for the remainder of the current term … and I will hit the ground running. I am refreshed, renewed and ready to go.”

The election will take place Sept. 14, with advanced polling open to qualified electors of the City of Castlegar on Tuesday, Sept. 3, and Wednesday, Sept. 4, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. each day at City Hall. Qualified electors have be 18 or older, a Canadian citizen, and have lived in BC for at least six months or lived in Castlegar (or owned property in Castlegar) for 30 days.

For more information, visit http://www.castlegar.ca/pdfs/OTICEOFELECTIONBYVOTINGNOTICEOFADVANCEVOTING.pdf

Categories: GeneralPolitics


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