Behind the scenes Nancy Wilhelm-Morden is quietly setting the stage for her term as Mayor of Whistler.
Though the job hasn't yet officially begun, she is hard at work already creating relationships with her team, establishing bonds with key partners, and firming up the agenda.
In the week and a half after her election on Saturday, November 19, the mayor-elect gathered her new team for a three-hour meeting, had a sit-down with municipal CAO Mike Furey, has scheduled a lunch meeting with neighbouring mayors and plans to meet with the old council for a debriefing on important issues. Meanwhile, she is still a practicing lawyer, preparing for mediation in a big lawsuit and a meeting with clients this week.
She knows Whistler is paying attention in the wake of the landslide victory. That's why she's inviting the community to the official swearing-in of the new council on Tuesday, Dec. 6 and to a reception following the induction to office.
"I want to celebrate this new council taking office because it is really such... a milestone election," said Wilhelm-Morden. "I would love for the community to come out to participate in the ceremony and enjoy a reception afterwards."
The reception will be paid for out of the 2011 council meeting/supplies budget, managed by the Legislative Service department. There will be free appetizers, coffee, pop and juice with a no-host bar.
Council will be getting down to official business the following day as Wilhelm-Morden has called for an extra meeting on December 7 to discuss a number of items.
"We're just in the process of setting that agenda," she said.
Pay parking will likely form some part of that agenda.
That was one of the things she talked about with CAO Mike Furey, among a host of issues, in their meeting at municipal hall just days after she was elected.
In addition to preparing a briefing book of outstanding issues for the brand-new council, the two leaders also talked about providing three days of informal training sessions for the new-seven member team. All councillors are new to the job in the wake of an election that, for the first time ever, saw no incumbents voted back into office.
On December 15 the new council will get an overview of the legislative framework it must act within. In the New Year they will meet with the senior management team and learn what's on their plate.
"And we will share with them what our (council's) goals and priorities are at that time," she said.
That was part of the discussion this week at an informal meeting at Wilhelm-Morden's house with the new team. Five of the six new councillors met and Roger McCarthy participated by speakerphone from Lake Louise.
"I came out of the meting with a very positive sense," said the mayor-elect. "I think everybody is engaged, everybody is respectful of everybody else's opinion. We seem to have, to a large extent, the same kinds of priorities. It was a very positive meeting."
Previously Wilhelm Morden told Pique she intended to get pay parking out of Lots 2 though 5 so it is likely that issue will remain on the table. However, people with parking passes should sit tight until a firm plan is in place.
This week Wilhelm-Morden is meeting with acclaimed Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy and newly elected Squamish Mayor Rob Kirkham. In addition to getting to know them, she wants to talk about appointments to the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) board. That traditionally has been an appointment filled by Whistler's mayor.
"I don't know that that's necessary currently because, as I understand it, the issues for the SLRD... they're not necessarily pressing issues requiring mayors to be on the board," she explained. "So I just want to discuss with them what their intentions are as far as their appointments for the board.
"I (also) want to talk about regional issues, start establishing a relationship with them."
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