I had a blast last Sunday watching some of our mayoral candidates battle it out, verbally maiming one another for the amusement of the crowd. The polite Canadian in me was appalled, but the Roman citizen buried deep in my collective memory was back in the Colosseum, cheering on the gladiators to finish each other off.
Some of the candidates stayed above the fray, and looked better for it in my opinion. In an election where a lot of voters have the perception that council was ineffective because its members couldnt work together, maybe the decision by some candidates to get into each others faces wasnt the brightest.
Im a political guy. I read papers, I read columns, I have my own set of values, and as a result I have strong opinions on just about everything. Id call myself a liberal, although Im with Chris Rock on this one Im liberal about some things and Im conservative about others. I wont get into specifics and risk getting into the kind of heavy, polarizing arguments that are ruining dinner conversations across the continent these days.
I always wonder if I would make a good mayor. Im a horrible public speaker, forget names, can be socially awkward, and would have a lot of uncomfortable questions to answer if my opponents looked deep enough into my past. Worst of all, my opinions have been known to change and while this might seem to be the mark of any reasonable person, its death for any politician. You get labeled a "flip-flopper" so fast your flip-flops fly off.
But a guy can wonder.
If I were mayor I think I would rip up the grass at the Whistler Golf Course driving range and replace it with that new, realistic looking artificial turf. When winter rolls around, we could roll it up, exposing an outdoor skating rink and hockey rink, complete with an in-ground cooling system. It would be open every night in the winter with lights, live music, ice carvers, fire dancers, performances by figure skaters, and cheap hot chocolate for everyone. Personally I think this is something we need to attract families and bring the community closer together.
If I were mayor I would also revisit the idea of making Whistler Golf Course an executive nine hole course, using part of the land for a mix of staff housing and park space.
If I were mayor I would spearhead an effort to get a Junior A team into the Paralympic arena. Sure, our full-time population may be too small to sustain a team, but with tickets going for $5 to $10 per game the tourists would love it, and the beer concession would clean up. If we can find beds every year for the bulk of our 12,000 employees, we can surely find, or build, a little extra room for 25 players and coaches.