Whistlers runoff election race for the last seat on council is set to heat up in the next week. Eleven candidates are vying for the sixth seat at the table. Voters will go to the polls at municipal hall on Saturday, Jan. 11 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. An advanced poll will be held on Saturday, Jan. 4 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
All unsuccessful candidates from the Nov. 16 election were allowed to join in the race and only two (Stephanie Sloan and Bob Calladine) opted out. The winning candidate will join Mayor Hugh OReilly and councillors Nick Davies, Kristi Wells, Ken Melamed, Caroline Lamont and Gordon McKeever.
Since the November municipal election Mayor Hugh O'Reilly has outlined three primary opportunities for the new council: financial tools, a land bank for resident housing, and the comprehensive sustainability plan.
Candidates were asked if these are or should be the primary opportunities and were provided space to comment on what they could contribute to these opportunities as the sixth councillor. Here is what they said:
Please note that due to Christmas deadline schedules Rick André and Tyler Mosher were not able to comment in time for this issue. Their responses will appear on the Pique Web site www-piquenewsmagazine.com as soon as they are available and they will appear in print in the Friday, Jan. 10 issue.
Financial tools, the CSP and the new land bank seems like much the same to me. The decisions will decide where Whistler will build our future subdivisions. I feel we need to keep the locals as close to the main village as possible. The idea to develop the Callaghan Valley bothers me when its over 9 kilometres to the main village. The Cheakamus seems to be the better and more logical choice so we can decrease rather than increase travel time for employees that will live in these new subdivisions. By using the land near Function Junction we can lessen the distance we need to travel to get home. We can allow for the buses to remain in the municipalitys boundaries rather than looking at expanding our boundaries. Why put more strain on the emergency response times? We need to work as a village to ensure the safety of our citizens.
We need to work together with other resorts to set a standard to ensure we can keep the tourists coming back to our fair resort rather than going to others. Due to the amount of taxes we contribute to the provincial and federal governments we deserve more than what we get here. Sure, our homes are worth a lot but its not by our choice. We get taxed the highest and see very little back. We must join with other resorts to allow the levels of government to begin to understand the importance of helping our locals so we can continue to pay these high taxes and dont have to worry about losing the tourism base we have due to outrageous tax hikes. We must develop a strong community plan to ensure we do not lose our locals due to the high cost of living here. If elected I will do my best to ensure we can develop a strong community plan to protect all interests without building larger homes so we keep Whistler affordable.