November 07, 2008 Features & Images » Feature Story

Council candidate: Ralph Forsyth 

click to enlarge 1545forsyth.jpg

Age: 39


Occupation: Entrepreneur/Ski Instructor

Last book read: The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington

What music are you listening to these days: Whistler Saints Football Club Locker room mix (Linkin Park/ 4th Down/ Refused/ Saliva/ Juelz Santana)

Favourite recreational pursuits: Coaching Football/ Skateboarding

1. Why are you running for council?

The eight most important words a politician can say are: “I did what I said I would do”, but it also goes without saying that I didn’t accomplish anything on my own; from council colleagues to resort partners and most importantly to concerned citizens — I say thank you!

I’m seeking another mandate so I can provide Whistler with three more years of service. I’ve continually reviewed the things said, promises made and goals I had set for my council term. By doing this, I’ve been able to base my decisions and maintain my focus on the priorities that I set, namely economic sustainability, retaining young families and providing support for small business.

Examples of my commitment to these priorities include: Voting in favour of increasing the Chamber of Commerce fee for service funding which helped pay for the improved spirit program, helping initiate the H.O.M.E Committee & Shoestring Project to alleviate the housing stress for new employees, voting in favour of the Whistler Centre for Sustainability, Riverside Campground & Le Scandinave Spa; projects that diversify our tourism product and bring thousands of visitors to the resort. I voted to approve emergency daycare funding and worked to keep Teddy Bear Daycare open that supports families. I’m also proud to say that this council approved the development of Fitzsimmons Walk, Rainbow Neighbourhood and Cheakamus Crossing that will provide hundreds of beds of employee housing.

2. Given that revenue from development is declining and the municipality is more dependent on hotel tax revenue at a time of economic uncertainty, how do you propose the municipality balance its budgets the next few years?

We need to figure out how we will pay for our future municipal service needs. Tax increases should be the last resort. Like any budget, you need to raise revenues, cut expenses or do a combination of the two. All orders of government raise revenue from taxes, typically they raise taxes to achieve their revenue needs, but municipal governments have some degree of flexibility when it comes to raising revenues. Municipal council needs to set policy initiatives that lay the foundations for long-term, sustainable revenue creation.

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