Maxed Out 

Crunch time: I’ll go with Ken

Page 2 of 3

In this world though, I’m supporting Ken. It’s not a hard choice.

I know these are tough times in Whistler and I know times were less tough when Ted was last mayor. I know everyone, especially those who lay awake nights wondering whether their business is circling the bowl, desperately want times to be good again. But there’s a very real difference between the next two sentences.

Things were good in Whistler when Ted was mayor.

Things were good in Whistler because Ted was mayor.

Without taking anything away from what was accomplished when Ted was mayor, he was the beneficiary of two very strong, very important forces. The first was the planning, rezonings and approvals for projects that were put in place when Drew Meredith was mayor and Ted was an alderman. In that regard, whomever we elect mayor on the 19 th is going to greatly benefit from the often tortuous planning that’s taken place the past three years.

The other powerful force Ted rode during his terms as mayor was the steep, uphill lifecycle curve Whistler was climbing. It’s always easier to accomplish great things when times are momentous and growth looks like it’s unlimited.

But that’s not where we are now. We need different skills to marshal us along the mature, top of the curve. We need careful growth.

Does Ken have those skills? Don’t know for certain but then I don’t know if Ted does either. Frankly, if Ted was as connected in Victoria and had as much pull there as his ads suggest, Whistler would already have the financial tools we’re still waiting for. We’d have the tax relief we need to deal with our neither-fish-nor-fowl strata hotels.

And despite what those ads say, Ted was, at best, a reluctant proponent of affordable housing when he was mayor. As alderman, according to those who were there, Ted didn’t support the works and services charge, that eventually funded so much of the affordable housing that has been built, the first time it came up for a vote. As mayor, he actively worked against resale restrictions, believing they’d drive potential buyers away. "To say that you can only make two or three per cent profit will be a discouraging factor for people who want to get involved," is how he put it during the debate on first imposing resale caps at Millar’s Pond. Tell that to the 500+ people waiting patiently to buy in, caps notwithstanding.

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