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Nancy Wilhelm-Morden vows to act on council's fiscal responsibility as mayor

Richard Diamond wants the "community first" vote

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Wilhelm-Morden admits that community members have raised concerns about her representing clients who have brought lawsuits against major employers and organizations, but said in many injury cases, when a client brings a lawsuit, it's usually because they have sustained serious injuries.

"I represent people who bring on lawsuits for compensation from the injuries they've sustained as the result of the wrongful act of someone else. If elected as mayor, I will fight as hard for my community as I have for my clients."

Running for council has been on Diamond's mind for some time.

"I've been talking about it for a number of years now with friends, about what we think needs to be different in town," he said.

Diamond, who also did planning work in Pemberton and is familiar with both the Local Government Act and Community Charter, said his goal is to represent "the other side of the coin" in municipal debates.

"There's this other side of the coin that's usually not discussed or put on the table, although there are a lot of people here that are affected by things," he said. "There's a feeling that special interest groups are looked after and not always the community as a whole."

One example, he said, is employee housing. "Every developer has put a lot of emphasis on employee housing, but we haven't considered others in the community that could benefit from their contributions in the way of amenity," he said. "One example is that we hear a lot about the need for another hockey rink. Maybe that's one of the things we should be getting from developers rather than more (Whistler Housing Authority) housing."

As another example, he suggested that Function Junction has been left out of spending decisions in favour of investing in the village. In that sense, Diamond said one group of small businesses are being served while another is not. And nobody, he said, is looking out for second homeowners.

Decisions, he said, have to be made in the context of what Whistler has become.

"We're not a little resort town anymore," he said. "We're more like a city. Things have changed a lot, and so have the needs of the community.

Like other candidates, Diamond is also concerned about the growing municipal budget, and said that will be a priority of his as well.

"Fiscally, what we need to do is make some differentiations between what we want, what we need and what's good for the community as a whole rather than special interests," he said. "And it's hard. I've worked in local government and I'm familiar with the Acts that govern what council can do and can't do. It's harder than people think.

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