Incumbent councillors coy on election plans 

One commits to re-election, one considers mayor's job, others undecided

Council members are playing their cards close to their chests when it comes to sharing plans for November's municipal election.

The one exception to this week's coy or, genuinely undecided, comments was the unequivocal response from Chris Quinlan.

"I'm definitely running again," he said, speaking passionately of the work he has been of part of on some of his many committee appointments.

"This is what I signed up for. I didn't sign up to be popular. I signed up for this to make a difference."

Ralph Forsyth also revealed a little more of what's on his mind. He is considering not just seeking re-election as a councillor but running for the top job at the table.

"I have decided to take the summer to essentially decide what I'm going to do, to weigh my options," he said, of the possibility of running for mayor.

He will be discussing it with his family and others and will likely announce his decision in June or July.

Mayor Ken Melamed is holding off on a decision. This year marks his fifteenth at the Whistler council table, nine as a councillor, six as mayor.

"It's a long time," he said. "That's one more factor that I'll be weighing."

He urged patience in the community however.

The country has just come off a federal election and a provincial election along with an HST referendum may be in the future.

"I don't think we should be focusing on the municipal election yet," said Melamed.

"From September on is long enough.

"I try to put it out of my mind consciously and focus on the work at hand."

For some, that unfinished work is top of mind. The asphalt plant is operating despite a cease and desist order from the municipality, the search is on for a new Chief Administrative Officer and the community is feeling the economic pinch. Add a new pay-parking regime to the mix and it makes for some oft-times volatile public sentiment.

"We've got some really important initiatives going on here," said Ted Milner, adding he'd like to make sure some of those things are on track.

But he's not committing.

"The great strategist is the guy who keeps his options open," said Milner.

While concrete decisions weren't forthcoming this week, councillors spoke of their job with passion, despite the challenges.

"I'm not scared of challenges," said Grant Lamont. He also cautioned others in the community who may be thinking about running.

"People should realize that you can't wander in with a magic wand," said Lamont.

Tom Thomson said he has enjoyed his work as a councillor, though he too remains undecided about doing it again for another term.

"I would have to say... (there is the) immense pride and joy and the honour of serving the community and I'd be more than willing to serve again," he said.

Eckhard Zeidler, however, touched on the dissatisfaction in the community and said there was a possibility that council, as a whole, could get blamed for things when not all councillors were on board with the decisions.

"If I do run again it'll be up to the voters to judge me on my voting record and what I bring to the table, or not," he said.

"Overall I believe there's a level of fury in the community. And we may all get tarred with the same brush."




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