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Hern sees the lack of an economic development body, along with an “outdated” Official Community Plan (from which the zoning bylaw is derived), as the two main  barriers to new business in town.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

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Your Mountain Minute for October 11

Golden’s weekly 60-second news recap… Continue reading

Each week, we ask municipal council candidates an important question

How can council support small business and entrepreneurship in the community?

Bizarre Review: Inside Out lives up to its namesake

Inside Out will probably have you feeling all sorts of feels by… Continue reading

VIDEO: First legal cannabis purchases as midnight strikes in eastern Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador was the first province to kick off the sale of cannabis, just after midnight local time

Boeser tallies in OT as Canucks beat Penguins 3-2

Vancouver wins without star rookie Pettersson

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Carole James avoids questions on B.C.’s payroll tax (with video)

Green MLA Adam Olsen cites huge tax increase for local business

Three Nelson marijuana dispensaries to remain open after legalization

Nelson’s police chief has no plans to close them down

Most Read