A Castlegar city councillor is the first to declare her intentions to run for mayor.
Maria McFaddin, who is completing her first term on council, will look to succeed Kirk Duff, who recently announced that he will not seek re-election.
In a Facebook post she said she “spent the past few weeks in conversation, and thought over what would be the right decision for Castlegar going forward.
“I have considered the weight of the job, and I have come to the conclusion that I can not only do it, but I believe that I have a unique skill set that is needed at this time in Castlegar … I am excited for what the future holds for our city.”
McFaddin was born and raised in Castlegar. She and her husband are pastors for a local church.
In an interview, she said she originally intended to run for re-election as a councillor, but Duff’s decision changed her mind.
“We need a mayor who leads a team that is levelheaded and collaborative,” she said. “I think those are my strengths. I have an ability to take everyone’s thoughts and voices and work with a team on how do we move forward?”
McFaddin said it is not necessary to have a mayor who brings a lot of new ideas to the table, as Castlegar is not lacking for them, but rather to have someone who can help council execute those ideas.
“My background is in communications, collaboration, and conflict resolution with leadership teams. So I think what I am skilled in is a good fit for what we need as a city and what that position would entail.”
McFaddin said before she ran for council, she had a good idea of what she was getting into and did not expect things to always run smoothly. She said there was a learning curve around the workings of municipal government, but she enjoyed it.
She added she is not running on specific issues, but wants to ensure all voices and opinions are considered as part of the decision-making process. It is impossible to make everyone happy, she said, but at least they can be heard.
McFaddin said she knows some people are unhappy with decisions council made this term, but there are none she regrets.
“You make the best decision you can with the information in front of you,” she said. “I do stand on every decision I’ve made, with a lot of research, time, and effort. It wasn’t just off the cuff.”
Councillor Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff said she was also mulling a run for mayor, but might run again as a councillor.
Former councillor Florio Vassalikakis, who finished as runner-up to Duff, in last year’s mayoral by-election, and former mayor Lawrence Chernoff, who was third, said they have not decided whether to attempt to return to local politics. But Deb McIntosh, who was runner-up in the 2018 mayoral contest, says she will not run this time.
Nominations officially opened Tuesday and voting day is Oct. 15.