Prospective Golden Mayors talk about the issues

Town of Golden: Two mayoral candidates went head-to-head at all candidates forum.

Two candidates are vying for the Mayoral Seat at the Town of Golden, and at last week’s All Candidates Forum they went head-to-head trying to convince voters who is best for the job.

Keith Hern and Ron Oszust, both of whom currently serve on Town Council, started the evening by explaining to the crowd why they are running for Mayor of Golden.

“I have fulfilled the role of councillor effectively and efficiently,” said Hern, adding that he has strong communication skills, and that his corporate experience has taught him how to follow through with difficult decisions such as firing staff.

Oszust talked about his wealth of experience in the community, both political and otherwise.

“These experiences have given me the opportunity to connect with people throughout the province, not only from different towns and communities, but at the provincial level,” he said. “They know me, and they know our community.”

Oszust also made it clear that had current Mayor, Christina Benty, been running for re-election he would not have put his name forward. And once he knew who’s name would be on the ballot, he decided to run.

Questions from the floor for the two Mayor hopefuls ranged from the importance of the UBCM Conference and public safety, to social responsibilities and unsightly properties.

The Golden economy was brought up several times, and both candidates agreed that the community is in need of some economic development.

“We need economic development to bring in a larger tax base,” said Oszust. However any model that comes in would have to be a joint effort between the Town of Golden, and Area A.

Removing barriers for businesses is also critical for the economic stability of Golden, and Oszust says that the best way for local government to assist would be to continue lobbying the Province to remove some of the red tape, as well as working with the local Chamber of Commerce to make sure the municipality’s policies are relevant.

Hern sees the lack of an economic development body, along with an “outdated” Official Community Plan (from which the zoning bylaw is derived), as the two main  barriers to new business in town.

He believes the best way to move forward on economic development is through Invest Kootenays, a joint-initiative of local governments, economic development organizations and Chambers of Commerce with the aim of attracting and retaining investment.

“This needs to move forward,” he said.

Even  though the economy may have been a top priority, residents were also concerned about quality of life in the community. Several questions centred around quality of life investments that don’t necessarily show a profit, but help attract and retain residents.

One attendee asked about Kicking Horse Culture (which is funded for the next three years through EOF money), and whether the candidates would support the organization with taxes in the future if need be.

Both Hern and Oszust agreed in the importance and success of KHC, but disagreed on how it should be funded.

Oszust said he would support the use of tax dollars to keep cultural services going, while Hern said he supports KHC, he does not believe it is an appropriate use of tax dollars.

 

Just Posted

RMI funding confirmed for another year

Discussion around how funding allocated needed, says Kimberley mayor

It’s playoff hockey time

Josh Lockhart looks at the first round matchup; Kimberley vs Fernie

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden Alpine Holiday

Widow of avalanche victim sues several guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

CP Rail train derailed near Field, B.C.

There was no threat to public safety and no injuries: CP Rail

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

VIDEO: What you need to know today at the B.C. Games

B.C. Winter Games athletes work for gold in the last full day of competition

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadian’s to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

BCHL Today: Cowichan Caps play spoiler and Nanaimo wins 10th straight game

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Federal budget to unveil incentive for 5-week second parent leave: official

Goal behind the measure is to give parents more incentive to share child-rearing responsibilities

Notley says Alberta watching B.C. court bid closely, will get no free ride on it

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley ended the three-week ban on B.C. wine, calming the trade war

Trudeau ends troubled India trip in his comfort zone of hockey and youth

The players, 18-25, came to New Delhi from Ladakhi in northern India, as part of outreach program

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Kim Boutin named Canada’s flag bearer for closing ceremony

Two more medals for Canada, including the bronze in men’s hockey

Most Read