It was standing room only last night as Fort St. John residents gathered to hear councilor and mayoral candidates debate what direction city hall should take for the next three years.


Mayoral candidate Bruce Lantz and incumbent mayor Jim Eglinski both painted very different pictures of the city’s future. Lantz pressed for a freeze on capital project spending, while Eglinski insisted that the city must continue to upgrade its services, including the new fire hall, to preemptively address the needs of a rapidly expanding population. However, both candidates did agree on one thing: high taxes are putting a strain on businesses and fixed income earners, such as seniors.


Lantz reiterated his platform promise to put a stop to tax increases and halt the introduction of new capital projects for the city.


Incumbent Mayor Eglinski attributed the higher taxes to higher assessment rates, but vowed to review the assessment process and work with residents and businesses to find a solution to the issue.


Taxes have been a hot-button issue in this election after last year’s assessments saw many residents and businesses owners face a dramatic increase in the cost of their property taxes.