Mayoral Candidate Lawrence Chernoff, in his own words
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Lawrence Chernoff and I am one of five mayoral candidates in the 2021 byelection. I was raised in Castlegar and have lived here my entire life. Castlegar has always been my home. It’s the home of my children, and of my grandchildren. It certainly holds a special place in my heart.
I have been so incredibly fortunate to have served on council, for the most part, since 1987. This includes several terms as a city councilor and 13 years as mayor. I was a paramedic for 29 years with the B.C. Ambulance Service. I have truly dedicated my life to public service. It is something that gives me great joy; it’s a way to give back to a community that has given me so much.
Months after I lost the election in 2018, my wife of 49 years, Jodi, passed away unexpectedly. This was an irreconcilable loss for our family. The silver lining was the community and how they came together to support us. The community rallied around us, helped us pick up the pieces, and move forward. I don’t know where we would be without them. It is the same community I wish to lead into the future. With my passion and experience, I know I have what it takes to be the leader that Castlegar needs.
Castlegar deserves a Mayor who acts with integrity, provides clear direction and communicates effectively. It is about having a leader who is pro-active, resourceful, progressive and open-minded. It is someone who embraces change and makes tough decisions with his/her team.
My focus and inspiration have always been the citizens of Castlegar. I have the drive and determination to get things done. I am committed to work on the airport reliability including all weather landing which serves as a tool to leverage economic development of our region. The Provincial Covid Airport Relief Program provided $720,000 to support operations as well as an additional $375,000 to support upgrades.
We can look into our city’s future in many different ways. I will strive to maintain a competitive tax environment while positioning ourselves as the service centre of the West Kootenay region.
We need to attract new families and businesses to our community. When someone is looking to locate here, they never ask about our infrastructure or finances, but rather want to know what there is to do here and the overall feel of our community.
I’ve always been a strong supporter of the Millennium Ponds, Sculpture Walk, Communities in Bloom, the upgrades being completed on Columbia Avenue as well as so many other community initiatives. I am committed to lobby senior levels of government for grant opportunities, in order that Castlegar may progressively move forward.
I know that we can achieve so much, as long as we are willing to work together in positive ways. As a team, my hope is to strive to make improvements in our quality of life to set ourselves as a key municipality in the West Kootenay Region, and to build a strong and economically diverse community. This is accomplished through sound fiscal management, improvements in infrastructure, the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and sometimes, thinking outside of the box.
The future is bright for Castlegar and I pledge to move forward with progressive initiatives.
I am a proven leader, and with a changed council, it is imperative to stay on course with a leader who can maintain steady progress and stability. I am the leader who can weather uncertain times with a calm resolve.
I have dedicated my life to service in the community both as a paramedic and as a member of council. I am proud of my past accomplishments and I am not afraid to make the tough decisions for the betterment of the citizens of Castlegar and generations to come, including my own children and grandchildren’s futures.
These accomplishments come through cooperative partnerships, whether through council, community groups, senior staff or other levels of government.
A good leader can build rapport with others and pull these partnerships together to create an amazing place to call home. Supported by the hardworking and dedicated individuals around me, I have the courage of conviction, a clear vision and the ambition to succeed.
A vote for Chernoff is a vote for progress you trust, passion, experience, integrity, commitment and dedication to our community, in order to keep Castlegar the best place to live, work and play.