Without raising funds or spending a dime to campaign, Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden has been re-elected for a second term in Whistler.
With the three incumbents — Councillors Jack Crompton, Andrée Janyk and John Grills — by her side at the Cinnamon Bear, Wilhelm-Morden quietly celebrated her win.
“I’m gratified about being re-elected,” she said. “It’s confirmation that my council from the last term was on the right track.”
The old team of four will be joined by newcomers Steve Anderson, Jen Ford and Sue Maxwell.
With her win practically guaranteed, Wilhelm-Morden had a keen eye on the results coming in to see who would make up her team for the new four years.
“It will be an interesting dynamic,” she said of that team, referring to the individual qualities each newcomer brings to the table, including Ford's passion for the job and the longstanding community knowledge that Anderson has after decades in Whistler.
But that dynamic got off to a somewhat sour note Saturday night, Nov. 15, when Janyk and the newly-elected Anderson were seen in a heated exchange outside the Cinnamon Bear while posing for a picture with their fellow councillors.
Unlike last election when the room erupted in cheers at the news of Wilhelm-Morden’s landslide victory, the night was a more solemn affair. The incumbents were all on hand as well as former councillors Duane Jackson and Jayson Faulkner.
The previous council team had spent the early part of the evening together at Councillor John Grills’ house having chili.
Sue Maxwell was also in the room to celebrate as the election results came in.
Not a huge fan of the campaign trail, Anderson said he's looking forward to getting down to work with his fellow councillors and municipal staff.
"I’m not a politician to be honest with you … and I’m going to try and keep that. I’m going to try really hard to retain those values," he said. "I am passionate about the things I believe need to happen in town, which is why I’m doing this."
Unofficial results show the mayor with 2,083 votes, Crompton at 1,888, Janyk at 1,746, Grills at 1,685, Maxwell at 1,569, Anderson at 1,146 and Ford at 1,121.
Voter turnout was 2,303 — 27.3 per cent — about half the number of ballots cast in 2011's contentious election.
Candidate Michael d'Artois received 1,109 votes, just 12 votes behind Ford. Pete Crutchfield got 993 and Tristan Galbraith 162.
"I'm a little stunned," d'Artois said in reaction to the vote, adding that it's "very unlikely" he'll run again next term. "I’m disappointed I’m not able to be there to contribute to the next four years but I’ll do what I can from the sidelines."
Mayoral candidate Shane Bennett received 162 votes.
Whistler school trustees Chris Veron-Jarvis and Rachel Lythe were acclaimed.
With three female councillors and Wilhelm-Morden at the helm, the next term will see Whistler's first female-majority council in action.
"I think the people who were elected were elected for the qualities they put out there, and I don’t think it has anything to do with them being women," said Ford. "We all bring different strengths to the table and it’ll be a really exciting four years ahead."
A 2009 study by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) found that only 23 per cent of elected municipal positions in Canada were filled by women. The FCM's goal is to raise that number to 30 per cent by 2026.
As expected Mike Richman was voted in as mayor with 520 votes. But interesting to note that Jerry Mohs, who withdrew for the election but too late to have his name officially removed from the ballot, still garnered 150 votes.
Richman is coming off of his first term as a Pemberton councillor, which included time as acting mayor.
In the next four years he would like to focus on infrastructure, boundary extension and recreation, among other things. He believes productivity at Village Hall revolves around cooperation and respectful relationships.
Joining Richman at the council table are Joanne Molinaro ( 510 votes), Jennie Helmer (486 votes), James Linklater (420 votes), and Karen Ross (344 votes).
Patricia Westerholm was acclaimed as school trustee.
Unofficial results for the SLRD show Mickey Macri elected in Area B with 75 votes, Eckhard Zeidler had 63 votes, and Ron Rooke had 37 votes.
In Area C Russell Mack is elected with 257 votes.
The sole candidate for Area D, Tony Rainbow was acclaimed. Rainbow has two decades of experience working in school administration, and has lived and worked in many communities since coming to Canada from England in 1967.
In Area A the incumbent director ran unopposed. Debbie Demare served on the SLRD's Northern Economic Development and Initiatives committee, the Carbon Neutral Committee and the Policy Development and Review Committee.
More to come.