Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden has nipped in the bud any summer speculation about her future political plans — she is seeking a second term as mayor of Whistler.
As promised, the mayor announced her intentions six months out from November's municipal election after giving the prospect of four more years some serious thought with her family, her law partners and her fellow members of council.
"It's just been such a privilege to be able to serve the community," she said, speaking as she holidays in Ontario where she finalized her plans with the clarity of distance. "The last two and a half years have been just really quite remarkable in so many ways, both from a personal perspective and from a political perspective.
"We've achieved so much."
Though she's keen to see some plans through to fruition, such as the development of the Audain Art Museum and the development of recommendations in several planning reports, much of the groundwork for the future has been set in this term.
"In a way it's more of the same," she said. "I have the capability and the capacity to continue to serve the community and to provide good government. I know it sounds kind of dull and boring but I think maybe that's what people like in local government, some stability, some continuity."
And yet, the stage is set for a political shake-up given that Councillors Duane Jackson and Jayson Faulkner are bowing out of a second term; on Wednesday, Andrée Janyk announced she will run again for council, while three remain undecided.
That means the council team, which has yet to truly break ranks with all but a handful of votes unanimous this term, will be getting some new faces and fresh perspective.
That has been on the mayor's mind, about what that change could potentially mean to good government.
"If everybody else does run and if we should all be re-elected, we still have a sizable majority on council," she said pragmatically. "We've worked so well together. The idea of having two or three new people on the team, there's opportunity and excitement there of course, there's also a little bit of trepidation just because we have, with this council, worked so well together."
The other major consideration was the possibility that the next term will be one year longer than previous terms, as the provincial government works to pass legislation for four-year council terms. Though she said four years is a "significant commitment," it wasn't enough to dissuade her from throwing her hat in again.
This is Wilhelm-Morden's fifth term on council — four as councillor, one as mayor. No term to date has been back-to-back.
If she wins for a sixth term in office, it will make Wilhelm-Morden the longest serving member of Whistler council over the years.
She, perhaps more than anyone, knows what can happen at the council table in the months before an election.
Despite declaring her intentions early, Wilhelm-Morden doesn't want the last six months of this council's mandate to be hijacked by the election.
Then again, she doesn't see any hot buttons issues on the radar screen at the moment, like the pay parking issue that influenced the 2011 election.
There's still a lot of work to accomplish before the sun sets on this council's term and she wants to keep her head down and get to it.
She added: "There aren't many people who have an opportunity to wield some influence in their community and I've had that opportunity for the last two and a half years. I'm humbled by it, but I'm also excited about the opportunity for continuing with that... if the community will have me."
RMOW releases 2013 Annual Report
The municipality has prepared its annual report to the community highlighting its accomplishments from 2013 and its plan for the year ahead.
The report includes a summary of municipal progress, as it relates to municipal objectives.
A copy of the annual report is available at the reception desk of municipal hall or online at www.whistler.ca.
Council will consider the annual report at its regular meeting on Tuesday, June 17, at 5:30 p.m. at Millennium Place.
Any submissions or questions can be made before that meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org
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