With local government councils on holiday for at least part of the month of August, councillors in Sea to Sky can count the number of regular meetings remaining before the upcoming election on one hand. The nomination opens on Oct. 4 and closes at 4 p.m. on Oct. 14. The election takes place on Saturday, Nov. 19.
So far this year only a handful have confirmed they will be running. In Whistler the list of incumbents that have announced they are seeking re-election includes councillors Chris Quinlan and Tom Thomson, while two-time councillor Ralph Forsyth confirmed this week that he would be running for mayor. Jack Crompton, who finished seventh in the 2008 election, confirmed this week that he would be running again.
"I feel the same way now as I did then," said Crompton, a father of four who has been coming to Whistler since his family built a home here in 1966 and moved here full time in 1999.
In a press release, Crompton said one of his goals is to bring transparency to council. "During the last election I promised to work for more open government," he said. "Although I wasn't elected I have tried hard to deliver on that promise by including more people in the conversation about our municipal direction."
Through the last term Crompton has used Twitter to keep his more than 500 followers up to date. He has also been writing for online magazine www.whistlerisawesome.com.
Among his accomplishments he founded and operated Whistler Resort Cabs, Transportation Whistler and, most recently, a website called Ridebooker where people can book land transportation across Canada and in the U.S.
In Squamish, Mayor Greg Gardner announced this week that he would not be seeking re-election after serving a year on council and one term as mayor.
The only councillor to confirm he would be running again was Bryan Raiser, who announced his intention in mid-July.
"Campaigns don't start 'til October but I'm announcing now because after many family conversations I can commit another three years to serve our great community. Having made the decision there is no sense being coy and stringing the public along. Plus, I hope my announcement will encourage others to seriously consider running for local office."
One of Raiser's missions has been to increase wages for municipal councillors. After a recent salary review, the mayor's salary is increasing to $48,000 per year over the next two years, up from the $37,300 paid in 2010. Council wages have previously been pegged at 48 per cent of the mayor's salary, but council - with Raiser opposed - approved a motion recently that would reduce wages to 43 per cent of the mayor. In two years a councillor will be making $20,640, which is well below the threshold that Raiser says will allow low income individuals to run for council. Raiser is concerned that the pay is too low to encourage lower income members of the community from serving in favours professionals and high wage earners that don't have to worry about making a living on the side.
Paul Lalli said he would be making his announcement in September. Patricia Heintzman and Corinne Lonsdale said they would announce in late August or early September, and Doug Race said he was undecided. There was no reply from Rob Kirkham.
On the school board front, chair Rick Price confirmed that he would be running again. "I am enjoying my work with the board, and I feel there is a lot left to accomplish."
Dave Walden said he would not be running again, while Chris Vernon-Jarvis and Christine Buttkus said they would announce their intentions at a later date. Andrea Beaubien, Rebecca Barley and Laura Godfrey did not return emails at press time.
As for the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, Area B director Mickey Macri (Yalakom, Bridge River, Seton/Shalalth, Texas Creek, Fountain Valley, Pavilion, Duffey Lake) has committed to running again. Russ Oakley, director for Area A and a former board chair representing Gold Bridge, Bralorne and the surrounding area said he would not be running again.