Full house for all candidates meeting 

Mayors, councillors meet the public

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Mayoral candidate Ralph Forsyth said the resort needs more collaborative leadership, and he regrets that he wasn't able to halt the rise in property taxes - and wants to make amends moving forward. "I don't think we needed to do that, to be quite honest, and I think we failed to provide leadership to the community... I cringe when someone's vision is Whistler when it was at its peak 20 years ago- we have children and we need opportunities going forward. The nostalgic view that it was so great 20 years ago is not going to have any effect on our future."

Council incumbent Tom Thomson said he would be lying if he said he was satisfied with the last term, but there was good as well as bad. "I go across the country and this town is revered for what we did with the Olympics, everyone wants to know how this little town pulled it off," he said. "The world saw it, and it was hugely gratifying. But the pay parking roll-out was a disaster. And then we tried it again and it still didn't work, and now we have something out there that will hopefully become ingrained and catch on."

Council candidate Jess Laframboise said his campaign was focused on the budget and bringing back the Squamish Commuter. "One third of Squamish comes up here to work, so a healthy Whistler helps Squamish as well... The Squamish commuter helped hundreds of employees, and it was previously subsidized by BC Transit, Squamish and Whistler. It no longer a reality because Whistler cut funding, but if Squamish's tax base is $30 million, Whistler's is $80 million, and if Squamish can find the money then we can to."

Council candidate Jen Ford said it will take a team of councillors to fix Whistler's problems, and believes she has the skills and work experience to pull that team together. "I think I bring a common (residents') perspective to the table. I don't own a house, I don't own a business. My husband and I want to raise a family here, but right now we couldn't afford to put a kid into daycare. These are some of the concerns we have... and I think the team at the table needs to be seen as a team."

Council candidate Jay Rolston had ideas how to fix pay parking. "It's my strategy to validate parking," he said. "If someone comes to the village and spends $100 at a restaurant they should get free parking. And they should be paying when they leave - right now it's paying up front and people don't feel good about it, it makes a bad first impression and that's not the way we want to greet our visitors."

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