Lawrence Chernoff is looking to return to the Mayor’s seat in Castlegar.

Having served on Council beginning in 1987, Chernoff would be mayor for 13 years before losing his seat to Bruno Tassone in 2018 who then resigned, sparking the by-election in the first place.

“What inspired me was the number of phone calls I received from the citizens of Castlegar,” said Chernoff. “People were asking me whether or not I’d take on the job again and I said ‘yea’ I will do that, and that to me is very heartwarming when people made that request.”

Chernoff told MyKootenayNow that what he brings to the table is “experience, community and integrity,” which he added are key elements for what will be a short term leading up to the next election. For now, a top priority for Chernoff is the City’s handling of COVID-19.

“It impacts every aspect of the community,” said Chernoff. “What do we need to do or what can we do, right? Once we get through this, and ongoing. What do we need to do to help people? Because that is what we are in the business to do. To help the community.”

In a post-Covid landscape, Chernoff added that the tax burden needs to be reevaluated and reworked.

“With the change that Covid’s brought the local government, I think you need to seriously look at that and see how we can do this, and what we can do with it.”

Chernoff said he would work with residents, Council and City staff to come up with solutions that are workable in the community to keep existing levels of service on par while also shouldering a heavier burden brought by the pandemic. 

“It’s all about the quality of life for the citizens of Castlegar, “ said Chernoff. “I think you do it through sound fiscal management, improving infrastructure and promotion of healthy lifestyle.”

The decision to run again was also impacted by the death of his wife of 49 years, Jodi Chernoff.

“That changed my life, and when I look at this thing, she’s at the back of my mind here. She was on my hip, all the time,” said Chernoff. “I’m more than willing to serve, like I said, it’s all about forward-thinking.”

Ultimately, Chernoff said it is his passion for the community that drove him to run again. The former paramedic of 29 years said Castlegar is the place where he grew up and raised his children.

General voting day is April 24th. There will also be a mail-in ballot option. 

Mayor candidate profiles

Castlegar mayoral candidate: Gord Lamont

Castlegar mayoral candidate: Kirk Duff

More profiles to follow including those for Florio Vassilakakis and Gordon Zaitsoff.