Two candidates file nomination papers for 2014 mayoral race

Town of Golden: Two mayoral candidates have already filed their papers for the Nov. 15 municipal election.

The nomination deadline hasn’t passed, but two mayoral candidates have already filed their papers and thrown their hats into the ring for the Nov. 15 municipal election.

Coun. Keith Hern was the first to file his papers, doing so on Sept. 30 while Coun. Ron Oszust officially declared his candidacy on Oct. 6.

The race won’t feature current Mayor Christina Benty, who has decided not to run for re-election.

Hern, originally from England, moved to Golden from Calgary in 2001. He has worked as a real estate developer, real estate agent and general contractor since moving to the area. Before that he worked as a petrolium reservoir engineering consultant and as president of a small oil and gas company.

He says he decided to run out of a desire to oversee some of the Town’s looming issues.

“The decision to run for mayor was born out of the fact that we’ve started a process of asset management and I think we’re well on the way to achieving some of our shared services with our assets that will make them much easier to manage…I think I can achieve more from the mayor’s seat (than as a councillor),” he said.

Hern earned his spot on council during a 2012 by-election.

Oszust has been considering a campaign for mayor since he learned that Mayor Benty wouldn’t be seeking re-election.

“I (weighed) the pros and cons and all of that stuff and ultimately decided (to run),” he said. “It’s another level of service to my community and I very much appreciate the opportunity.”

Oszust grew up in Bonnyville, Alta. and moved to Golden in the late ‘80s to pursue a  business opportunity. He has spent the last 23 years working for B.C. Ambulance Service and currently holds the title of Paramedic Unit Chief in Golden.

Oszust entered the world of politics in 1993 as a school board trustee before serving as CSRD Area A director from 1999 until 2011. Oszust has served on council since a successful election campaign in 2011.

Candidates for both mayor and council have until Oct. 10 to file nomination papers.