A lot has changed for Tyler Mosher since he made his first run for Whistler council back in 1999.
He was married to Tonya Raworth. Together they put a down payment on part of a house on Easy Street and grew their landscaping business from one crew to a successful small business with up to 15 employees during the summer months.
He also broke his back snowboarding and sustained severe spinal cord damage. With the help of new treatments and several months of therapy at the G.F. Strong Rehab Centre in Vancouver, he amazed his doctors by learning to walk again. "Five years ago I would have been in a wheelchair," he says.
Back in Whistler, he started to do the things he enjoyed once again. He has taken up cross-country skiing, and even tried to get back on his snowboard last winter.
The experience, as well as the strong support he received from friends in the community, reminded him why he chose to live in Whistler more than a decade ago.
Now Mosher is 30 years old and is excited to be running for council once again.
"Over the next three years, a lot is going to happen. We will see Whistler reach build-out and the renovations will begin. The Olympics could be coming our way. The province is introducing a Community Charter to give municipalities more power over planning and finances. Whistler is in the process of adopting an environmental, social and economic sustainability framework that is unique in the world," says Mosher.
"At the same time, we hear over and over again that we are losing our soul. The people and families who built this community and made it a success are leaving town because they dont see a viable future in Whistler. We need to meet their needs better."
Mosher has a degree in environmental planning and currently owns and operates TMD Landscapes Ltd. with his wife.
He was a member of the now defunct Advisory Parks and Recreation Commission from 1996 to 1999. After finishing eighth among council candidates in the 1999 election, Mosher remained politically active in Whistler.
As a member of AWARE, he sits on the wetlands committee, the Olympic committee and the Whistler Fisheries Stewardship Group. He is a volunteer fundraiser for B.C. Rehab. This summer he helped to coach the local Whistler Hoary Marmots rugby team.
"Ive always been civic-minded," he says. "I was always on student council back in school and university, and Ive been involved in Whistler groups since I moved here. I go to most of the council meetings and presentations and I know the issues I love this stuff."
Mosher believes his contributions to the community, as well as his background as a planner, small businessman and volunteer, will be an asset on council. If elected, he says he will work with the mayor and other council members to address community issues quickly, cheaply, and fairly.
"I want to get across that Im solution-oriented, that Im a team player," says Mosher. "There are some real issues that have to be resolved, and the new council will need to work together to make sure that theyre resolved in a way that it meets the needs of the people who live and work here."
Moshers platform is based on five key community issues:
Affordability Increasing employee housing, and reducing property tax burdens on residents by using the tools available, including the Olympics and the new Community Charter. Part of this includes gaining control of a community land bank and expanding the municipal boundaries to include part of the Callaghan Valley. The affordability issue also includes public transportation, and issues like pay parking, a proposed resort tax, education taxes, and proposed Olympic legacies. "Whistler produces about a million dollars a day for the federal and provincial governments, but the homeowners are paying for the infrastructure that supports our tourist economy. We need this money transferred back into our community if we are going to make things affordable," says Mosher.
Sound Financial Management Cutting municipal costs and looking at municipal spending practices. "Is a million-dollar Web site or a $10 million library and museum realistic when you consider the tax and cost of living burdens that residents are currently under? We need these amenities, but they dont have to be so expensive," Mosher says.
Responsible Olympic Development Ensuring that highway closures dont impact on businesses, and that Olympic legacies are a benefit, not a burden, for the community. Council should also ensure that the opportunities that exist for Whistler, including the boundary expansion and the land bank, dont slip away.
More Co-operation and Transparency Council should work together and keep the public in the loop regarding its activities. The public should be consulted before any major decisions are made. Mosher feels the recent controversy over the World Economic Forum shows the public is interested, and that council cant act without public support.
Sensible Planning Key issues include the highway, the landfill closure in 2008, the upgrade to the sewage plant, and both outdoor and indoor recreation. Mosher agrees with the idea of a bed cap, but believes more can be done to prevent the loss of employee housing when developers start to rebuild and renovate the town. He believes that the Comprehensive Sustainability Plan, can help provided that core community values come first.
"As a councillor I will listen to the public and represent their interests when making decisions. It is important to remain focused and use common sense," says Mosher.
"I want to work with the province and First Nations on land issues. I want to represent the environment because it cant speak for itself. I want to improve communication with other communities in the corridor because we have more in common than we think. Most of all I want to make Whistler a great place to live and visit for everybody."