The mayoral race in Castlegar and issue of leadership was a key theme in Thursday night’s All Candidates election forum.
Challenger Gord Zaitsoff from neighboring Area J says he has initiated moves towards doctor recruitment, a new hospital and better recreation …not the city.
He says that’s why he’s running for mayor rather than a councillor job.
But incumbent mayor Lawrence Chernoff responded by saying the job is all about direct responsibility to residents.
About 200 people showed up for the forum.
The thorny issue of a new regional hospital also came up.
Zaitsoff – who is a very vocal advocate for a new hospital site – suggested the mayor and his council has not been fighting the same cause for a long-attempted region wide decision. Instead he said a costly questionnaire paid for by Castlegar taxpayers asking for regional input on a strategic acute care plan achieved nothing.
But councillor Deb McIntosh argues Zaitsoff’s abrasive manner at the hospital board table is what gets them nowhere.
Incumbent mayor Lawrence Chernoff says Castlegar has shown leadership by trying to get all Hospital Board directors to discuss their acute care needs.