Third candidate enters mayor race 

Busterino’s owner James Hyndman speaks of economic woes

Once the smart dark brown briefcase, stamped with the mark "Province of British Columbia," carried important papers of a B.C. Cabinet Minister.

Years later, handed down from father to son, the briefcase is a little worn but well loved, adorned with stickers and filled with business papers for a certain local pizza joint.

Now the briefcase is starting to fill up with documents related to November’s municipal elections.

James Hyndman, the "Buster" of Busterino’s Pizza, announced he is entering the mayor’s race, and following his father’s footsteps in a life of public office.

Candidly the 35-year-old Hyndman admits that he would not be running had Busterino’s not gone under recently.

"I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t speak out," he said.

He is speaking on behalf of other independent business owners in Whistler who are enduring an economy which has seen the bottom fall out of the market in the last year.

First it was Uli’s in Creekside, then Best Sellers in the village. Now it’s Busterino’s.

Hyndman thinks he is leading the "tsunami wave" of some really tough economic times ahead. It’s time to reverse the tide he said.

"We’re not reacting quickly and swiftly enough," he said.

Part of the blame, he said, lies with the absentee commercial landlords in the village, who got into the market in the boom times of the ’80s but who aren’t around now to see what’s happening to the town. Hyndman calls it a "fiefdom."

The landlords, he said, would rather let a spot sit vacant in the village and lose money than be the first to break ranks and lower the rents. His answer is annual meetings where the landlords and other stakeholders gather together to hash out the problems.

From his six years behind the counter at Busterino’s, first in Pemberton and then three years later in Whistler, and from his years of ski racing here throughout his teens, Hyndman said he has a strong understanding of this town. He doesn’t call it a community yet.

"We’re a town or a resort but we’re far from a community," said Hyndman, who lives in Squamish.

A community, he said, offers its residents everything they need to live in that spot. It’s not sustainable to spend one day a month traveling to Vancouver to stock up on staples.

That’s one of the reasons he supports putting London Drugs in the village. And once there, he’s convinced the local independent business owners will see an increase in business with more foot traffic in town.

Hyndman also said a "community" wouldn’t allow the residents of Eva Lake Village to foot the staggering costs of their sinking buildings alone. As mayor he would ensure those repair costs would be shared by all taxpayers.

"We’re not a community when you let Eva Lake flap, because it could happen to anyone," he added.

On a personal note Hyndman said he has the skills it takes to be a leader at municipal hall. He brings discipline, learned from his ski racing days. He brings the knowledge of business, running a company and managing employees and he’s proud to say he had a low employee turnover.

He has the ability to lead and use common sense and he often thinks back to the pioneers who broke trail here – Myrtle Philip and Franz Wilhelmsen.

"This isn’t rocket science," he said.

Hyndman’s father Peter was the minister of consumer and corporate affairs under the Bill Bennett government from 1981-1983.

Hyndman’s announcement brings more competition for mayoral candidates Nick Davies and Ted Nebbeling.

Meanwhile, four candidates have declared their intentions to run for council. They are Marianne Wade, Gordon McKeever, Tim Wake and Bob Lorriman.

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