Endorsing political candidates has been part of the role of newspapers in communities around the world for many years. Whistler has been an exception to this tradition, until now. We feel the community has reached a level of maturity and is at such an important time in its development that it is appropriate to endorse candidates for the Nov. 20 municipal election. Below we have endorsed five candidates for council and one mayoralty candidate. That does not mean these are the only people worth voting for — all 20 candidates are intelligent, capable and deserve respect and thanks for offering to serve the community. But elections should be more than popularity contests. The editorial board of Pique Newsmagazine — Loreth Beswetherick, Bob Barnett, G.D. Maxwell and Kathy Barnett — have chosen to endorse these candidates because we believe they are the people most capable of leading Whistler into its next phase of development as a community. There are several capable candidates for the sixth councillor position but we did not reach a consensus on any one. We endorse most of the present council, partly because they are a disparate group, each bringing a different background and different point of view to the table. Endorsing incumbents may be seen as conservative approach but we think Whistler is at an important juncture in its history. With buildout on the horizon, finances and affordability becoming bigger issues, Whistler needs some continuity on council to enact the long-term plans the current group has been working towards. To start over with a substantially new council at this point would set Whistler back. Delays in implementing the financial strategy and long-term capital plans, for example, could cost Whistler dearly. One only has to look at the provincial government to understand what opportunities a province or a town can lose when a government’s financial house is not in order. For mayor: Hugh O’Reilly – has been criticized for appearing to "go with the flow," but there is probably no more committed advocate of the long-term planning and relationship building council has done over the last three years. O’Reilly has not been front and centre on many of the "hot" issues over the last term, except when he has had to cast the deciding vote — it’s not his style. But he understands the balance between the resort and the community and his 11 years on council have taught him there is more to governing than issues of the moment. For council: Nick Davies – his background in Whistler and the corridor and his work with the chamber of commerce, the W5 Foundation and the volunteer ski patrol provide him with a perspective of both the community and the resort. He understands Whistler’s history, understands the issues that face the town now and in the future and recognizes there will be tough decisions to be made. Dave Kirk – is probably not well known to many, despite his nine years on council. Kirk is thoughtful, fair, understands where Whistler has come from and understands the principles and values that have shaped and continue to shape this town. Ken Melamed – is best known as an outspoken advocate for environmental issues. He has learned the role of a councillor while continually challenging and pushing council to go a step further. Ted Milner – is recognized for his financial expertise and business sense, and it’s understood that those skills will be invaluable to Whistler in the future. Milner also adds a measure of pragmatism to council while maintaining a commitment to limiting development. Kristi Wells – brings tremendous enthusiasm to the position of councillor and is a tireless worker on numerous committees. She listens and is willing to work with others but is also clear in her position on issues. All of the above candidates have a solid understanding of the issues and while some may see them as "establishment" figures, they have also demonstrated an ability and willingness to look at the whole resort-community.

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