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Ralph Forsyth

Campaign Slogan: Making a difference through innovation, enthusiasm and leadership Age: 33 Occupation: Entrepreneur, ski instructor, involved in human resources training, and co-ordinates Fire & Ice shows.

Campaign Slogan: Making a difference through innovation, enthusiasm and leadership

Age: 33

Occupation: Entrepreneur, ski instructor, involved in human resources training, and co-ordinates Fire & Ice shows.

Volunteerism: Co-chair of the Whistler Advisory Planning Commission, volunteer at 2010 Information Centre, writes letters for Amnesty International

Skier, golfer

Hobbies: Rugby, painting, and "the most skilled user of a Palm Pilot in the world."

Web site: N/A

Last book read: All Families are Psychotic by Douglas Copeland, Good to Great by Jim Collins

Why are you running for council?

Because I think I can make a unique contribution, a different contribution. My campaign slogan, "making a difference through innovation, enthusiasm and leadership," is a representation of my values, and my values are a reflection of the community.

I’ve made the decision to run for council with the encouragement of my friends and family.

I have an opinion on all of the issues, but don’t want an issues-based campaign. When people focus on issues, it’s usually because they’re pursuing some kind of agenda.

I’m not pursing an agenda. I want to provide the community with a level of service.

There are three promises I make to people:

One is a promise to tackle the issue of affordability, which is an aspect of sustainability.

Another is to have a 12-hour office day on Wednesdays, commit the entire day to public services and consulting the community. If you want to see me in my office, at my home, meet me skiing or go a coffee, that’s fine. I believe community consultation solves issues.

The last point is accountability. I will publish a monthly newsletter with my interpretation of the issues of the day, what came across council’s desk, how and why I voted the way I did, so you have an accurate reflection of how my values have guided the decision making process.

It distinguishes me from my opponents, and raises the level of service you can expect from local government.

What are the major accomplishments/failures of council since the last election?

I’ll do one of each. The failure of the current council has been a failure to innovate, and by that I mean having a focus on a mission and doing a rigorous assessment. It’s the failure of council to commit to any solid and tangible mission.

The word focus is the key. I’m not sure where the current council’s direction comes from – are they mission-based, or whether they are using community values to guide their decisions. It’s not a failure of individuals, it’s a failure of the process.

Basically I’m saying we have no mission or guiding values. We think we do but it’s not out there to see.

I would review the sustainability plan and public consultation process to establish what the process is, to establish what our values are, and use that to guide the decision of council.

What are they doing well? I think that their commitment to an ethical standard in the Olympic bid has been a big success. I lost faith in the Olympic ideal when they discovered Salt Lake City was bribing IOC officials. It’s restored my faith to see the community fighting the fair fight, and our determination to pursue a clean bid.

What are the key issues facing the next council?

Affordability. I’m not going to give a lot of rhetoric about the issue. Specifically, what I will do is to create a board, like every other board in town, and its specific mission will be to tackle the issue of affordability. They can consult businesses, community groups, the Chamber of Commerce and individuals, and make recommendations.

Next, I’ll pack the mayor’s bags and put them on a ferry to Victoria to talk to the premiere to establish a baseline tax rate for homeowners, based on the value of a home when you purchased it.

As far as sustainability goes, affordability is one of the components of the plan. But it’s also the primary one because without affordability, sustainability is a moot point.

Following that, let’s establish what our priorities are in the sustainability process, set targets and timelines… set a course for achieving these goals, and move on to the next priority. If we try to do everything all at once, we won’t be successful.

(The sustainability process) has gone off the rails, but we can get it back on track. Mistakes have been made, but let’s renew the process with enthusiasm and a meaningful public consultation process.

Personally, I’ve been off paper for two years. Everything is on my Palm Pilot.

I will never take the environmental high ground, although I care about the environment, but I can tell you that with the exception of business cards, I’ve used no paper, no plastic, and no wood in this campaign.

All successful businesses need a vision statement, of vision of the business in the future, and to establish its values. I don’t see why that can’t be applied to municipal governments.

On my decision not to use signs… putting up signs didn’t fit my values for a few reasons; signs aren’t innovative… and I’m differentiating myself. They’re also expensive, and I want to prove that I can run a campaign very cost-effectively, the same way I plan to run municipal affairs.

Why should people vote for you?

A vote for me is a vote for difference. Vote for me because I’ve demonstrated that I have the ability to do things differently.

I’m committed to voters, and I’m committed to the community. I have the energy and the enthusiasm to get the job done.

My campaign is a reflection of my values. I value innovation – as far as I know I’m the only candidate actively campaigning and knocking on doors. What have I learned? I’ve learned that there is a need for enthusiasm, that it’s going to be a big asset. Enthusiasm ignites the fire to work hard.

My role is not to go in with an agenda, but to enrol my values in the service of the community.

I’m not an issues-based candidate because people vote with their emotions. People have opinion, I have opinions on every issue. But I’m not going to push hot button issues to exploit them, I want people to vote for me because I think I can do the job. It’s a gamble taking that stand, but it fits my values.