Wilhelm-Morden seeks fourth term on council 

Nancy Wilhelm-Morden will stay focused on the community and its needs if elected as a councillor.

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The local lawyer, three-time councillor, and founding director and past president of the Community Foundation of Whistler wants to maintain a strong community which offers a vibrant place to live, work and raise a family.

"I have been very focused on the Whistler community and maintaining that community," she said this week after declaring her intention to run for council. "It is just a tremendous privilege to live in this town. I am very much aware of that and that is my focus, the viability of the community."

Part of that is making sure there is affordable housing available. Wilhelm-Morden sat on the council that created the Whistler Housing Authority and developed the 19 Mile Creek housing project. While she remains a staunch supporter of resident housing she does not think every project of this type must be given the green light.

"Affordable housing is dear to my heart," she said. "Just because a project comes for zoning that has affordable housing attached to it doesn’t mean that it gets an automatic approval – the bigger picture has to be considered."

No stranger to the halls of power at the municipality Wilhelm-Morden sat on council in 1984-86, 1988-90 and 1996-1999. Indeed, her oldest daughter Sarah, now 19, was born while she was acting mayor in 1986.

"I know what I am getting into and I know my way around municipal hall," she said.

"This is a very important time for Whistler and I think it will be really important to have people on council who are going to be able to do the job and make the hard decisions that are going to come."

Wilhelm-Morden is not running on any particular issue, in fact she urged voters to remember that something that is an issue now may not be two years from now, and yet the people voted onto council will still be dealing with business at municipal hall.

"That is why the voters have to look at the skill set that the particular candidate brings to the table, said the mother-of two who is married to real estate agent Ted Morden.

"Being a community resident since 1973 I have a pretty good understanding of the community, I have also been on council three times… and I have been a practicing lawyer for 21 years, and so I am trained to think critically and I think that is a pretty important feature."

These skills will stand her in good stead, said Wilhelm-Morden, as the next council will face a furious pace with important issues before them, such as development on the Rainbow lands, the fate of the tennis court development, and the London Drugs application, not to mention the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

"With this next council there is not going to be a lot time to get to know what the issues are and to get to know each other," she said. "It is really going to come at us, if I am on the council, fast and furious.

"The Olympics is one of the things that is coming down hard. It happens in just over four years. There is no extension, there are no excuses."

Wilhelm-Morden, who did not support hosting the Games when the idea first came up, but now feels the resort must put its best effort into it, wants to see more information on the event shared with the community.

"I get the sense from the community that a lot of the community doesn’t really know what is going on," she said. "They feel like the Olympics is almost being done to them rather than being part of it and so I think it is important to engage the community now so that we do pull off a good one and one we are all proud of."

Wilhelm-Morden is also determined, if elected, to bring an end to the on-going job action by CUPE workers in Whistler.

"I personally think that that is an embarrassment," she said. "If I am elected I’ve got some ideas which should be implemented to get this thing done."

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