Ron Bahm withdraws from race for mayor 

Mayoral candidate withdraws, supports Auli Parviainen

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Ron Bahm announced in a joint news release with Auli Parviainen that he is taking himself out of the election and encouraging his supporters to cast ballots for Parviainen.

"If I had known what Auli was about I wouldn't have felt the need to put my name up," Bahm wrote in the release. "All I want is what is good for Squamish and Auli is good for Squamish."

Bahm apologized to anyone who voted for him in the advanced polls.

"I want her to win so we can get rid of the chokehold on this town," said Bahm.

According to Parviainen, the pair both seek an inclusive community where people's diverse voices are heard and local government is accountable.

"Ron Bahm is a fine man who is willing to put the community interests ahead of his own and I am proud to know him," said Parviainen.

Gondola project clears another key hurdle

The Sea to Sky Gondola project received third reading Tuesday following a public hearing the week before. More than 20 people spoke in favour of the initiative at the public hearing Nov. 7. A few people spoke against the project expressing concerns about wildlife, B.C. Parks intrusion and one speaker said the gondola would hurt the downtown.

Councillor Doug Race took issue with the comment about how the project will hurt the downtown area of Squamish.

"Common sense tells me it will certainly benefit the downtown," Race said in discussing third reading of zoning and Official Community Plan updates on Tuesday. Once District of Squamish approvals are finalized the project proponents can start working toward similar approvals from the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District and the provincial government.

 

Lalli follows Gardner off Squamish Oceanfront board

Of six recently-appointed board members, only three now remain

A third member of the newly appointed Squamish Oceanfront Development Corporation (SODC) board of directors has stepped away from his position.

Paul Lalli's resignation from the post was revealed at the regular meeting of Squamish council on Tuesday (Nov. 15).

The move by Lalli follows Greg Gardner's announcement on Nov. 10 that he will step down on Jan. 17. Gardner said he chose that date because it is the evening of the second meeting of the council being elected on Saturday (Nov. 19).

"I did not want to wait until after the election to give notice," Gardner wrote in his resignation letter. "In that event my decision might be misconstrued as having been triggered by the election results. That would be unfair to the new council."

When asked if he would consider serving on the new board under the new council Gardner said he wasn't interested in answering hypothetical questions about his future plans in regards to the SODC.

Lalli's resignation notice was sent by e-mail to his fellow council members, a few district staff members and SODC chair Bill McNeney on Monday. Lalli's note was short and to the point.

"I hereby resign as a director of the Squamish Oceanfront Development Corp, effective January 17, 2012," Lalli wrote in his single sentence note.

Lalli and Gardner's appointments to the SODC board proved controversial. The two are not seeking re-election. The board appointments were determined by the members of council during private meetings.

Councillors Patricia Heintzman and Bryan Raiser opposed the appointments of the two outgoing council members and made their opposition public in an open meeting. Heintzman and Raiser said their main concern with the appointments of Gardner and Lalli was the optics of the move.

The first appointee to resign from the board was Drew Stotesbury, a former SODC chief executive officer. He announced his resignation just days after the council split over the appointments was made public.

 

New Garden Centre vision supported

A 35-year-old business on Mamquam Road by Canadian Tire is a step closer to being rejuvenated. Former real estate agent Natalie Pereman presented her plans to redevelop the site by improving the existing garden centre buildings and adding buildings for new small businesses on the site while adding a public picnic area to the property and space for fresh produce to be grown.

Pereman's vision for the property is loosely inspired by the Coombs Market on Vancouver Island.

Squamish Council members supported the concept despite hearing concerns from nearby small business owners in the retail food business that said the addition of the new venture would bring unwanted competition to a struggling sector.

 

 

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