Florio Vassilakakis is running for Mayor in Castlegar’s by-election. It is a move that forced him to step down as a city councillor, making his next step all the more significant.
“For the last eight years being on Council, I feel like I’m ready to step up and lead and fill that gap that was left by the resignation [of former mayor Bruno Tassone],” Vassilakakis told MyKootenayNow. “At the end of the day, I think it’s really important that somebody with experience, with a passion and with a vision steps up to lead. I’m excited about the future of Castlegar and the enormous potential we have here, and I’m confident I have the leadership and skills to make significant progress towards our goals.”
He added that in order for the community to thrive, it is important that all demographics are helped including families, seniors, businesses, working people and those who are most vulnerable. Vassilakakis said he wants Castlegar to be the most desirable place to “live, work and invest.”
Some of the priorities Vassilikakis noted were the Castlegar Airport’s importance in serving the region, making the city a hub for recreation and a tax-competitive community for businesses to set up shop.
The owner of the Ninteenth Restaurant and Social Bar at the Castlegar Golf Club, Vassilikakis pointed to his experience and skill set that he has accumulated over time. He also shared what it takes to lead a city versus a business.
“I have lots of experience in business, in project management, in construction, in real estate, in operating businesses,” he said. “None of that can fully prepare you for the demand and the pressure of making decisions for other people, that affects other people’s lives.”
It takes wisdom, he added, to make the impactful decisions that affect both the pocketbook and lives of the electorate. Vassilakakis said he has a deep understanding of what is currently happening at the municipal level. That paired with his eight years on Council and what he calls a “fresh approach,” they are two sides of the same coin that he said he brings to the table.
Had Vassilakakis decided not to run, there would be no by-election at the City Councillor level. Of course, that decision was sparked by Mr. Tassone’s resignation early in the year.
“It’s incumbent on the rest of us, not only the current Councillors but the rest of the community to put our support in the leadership that we have and move forward,” Vassilakakis concluded.
Mayor candidate profiles