The field of candidates for the November municipal election got a little thicker this week with the addition of four new candidates to the race.
Professional photographer David Buzzard said his running was the worst kept secret in town, especially after a Facebook page he was working on mistakenly went live several weeks ago. But he was too busy with work to make it official, and held his cards until this week.
This is also Buzzard's second kick at the can, and it's for different reasons than last time.
"It's a different situation," he said. "After the last time I wasn't planning on running again, but I'm deeply dissatisfied with the direction this council has gone and I think we need a change and some new blood in there."
His platform is online at www.votedavidbuzzard.com and the Facebook page is up. And while he's been critical of the actions taken by recent councils, he said it was important to explain what he would do/have done differently and to table real solutions rather than just criticism.
"Generally, if you're going to run for council you have to have a reason why you should be there and not the other guy," he said. "Just saying 'this is wrong' without some kind of alternative plan for what's going on is not enough. You have to have something. It has to be a different direction and you have to think about that."
While his website is detailed, he did give one example of a solution over the phone on Thursday.
"Take the pay parking issues," he said. "My solution would be to take the money that's lined up for the amenity hub - $7 million in three years in RMI funding, for what is a terrible idea - and put that money towards pay parking and driving the rates down. The reality is that this council and the last council incurred a huge debt in building the lots that we're on the hook for."
Another example was the recent "Whistler Presents" free concert series.
"Everybody loved the concert series, but that's $2.6 million there and we haven't really built anything with that. It was a great series, but that's not a sustainable number we can keep up indefinitely. We didn't support any local acts or anything to build up the art scene."
Steve Anderson, owner of The Adventure Ranch and a resident of Whistler since 1984, also made it official last week.
What made him decide once and for all to run for council was a public meeting in 2009 where a plan to raise property taxes 20.5 per cent over three years was unveiled.
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