Rome wasn’t built in a day…. 

Election reflections

As Pique got ready to cover last Saturday's election following a feisty mayor's debate Friday night there was a certain anticipation in the air.

Obviously there had been hours of office chat about who would be elected, what skills each person brought to the table and so on. After all, reporters are in a somewhat unique position in that we get to ask lots of questions of the candidates and learn about the people running and what motivates them.

It was surprising then, as we headed into the weekend, how reticent we were to actually confirm who we thought would win the seats.

It was obvious that Whistlerites had reached the end of its collective rope when it came to paying taxes, or what some believed was an almost cavalier attitude at the Hall, which may have resulted, for example, in the asphalt plant operating without proper zoning.

But what would that look like at the polls?

Sitting in the conference centre setting up my laptop in preparation of covering the vote counting I watched carefully as people filed in to vote. Were voters excited, triumphant, cautious - what I wondered was the mood?

After a couple of hours I was struck with the realization that I was the only excited one - I would describe most people as being determined and perhaps somewhat wary.

It was as if people knew that change was coming and while accepting it needed to happen it was worrisome - perhaps it that's old adage "better the devil you know than the devil you don't."

But in no way was I prepared for the landslide that Mayor-Elect Nancy Wilhelm Morden was handed Saturday night, Nov.19.

Even as I listened to the count, 2636 votes for Wilhelm Morden, I found myself checking my own notes. Surprising too were the top votes won by Roger McCarthy and Duane Jackson.

These were two men who arrived in Pique's offices just a few short weeks before with a spring in their step and an almost cheeky demeanour that left us a bit perplexed. On paper they looked impressive - no doubt - but pointed questions on the budget and other specific municipality business were answered a bit vaguely.

Nor did they swamp the social network airwaves with messages or comment as the resort revved up for election day. It was low-key - it was a "look to the skills we bring" kind of campaign.

And here is one of the lessons for all of us - people in Whistler understand what skills look like, they understand you've got to have them in tough times.

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