October 28, 2005 Features & Images » Feature Story

Village voices 

Candidates outline their visions for Pemberton

Fourteen men and women from the Pemberton Valley area are running to represent the town and surrounding areas. One of these people, Susie Gimse, incumbent SLRD director for Electoral Area C, was recently profiled in the Pique . Her opponent, Alan LeBlanc, appears here alongside the other 12 candidates.

Taken as a whole, the people seeking election in the Pemberton Valley look like this: Eleven are men. The youngest is 25. The oldest is past retirement age. Most are under 45. Three work in Whistler. Three are women. Two are engaged in farming. One farmer is a woman. Some have lived in Pemberton most of their lives. None were born here. All four candidates for mayor are men. Farmers, tourism professionals and small business owners, they represent a solid cross-section of the community.

Candidates for Village of Pemberton council and the school trustee position were asked to complete a Proust Questionnaire to accompany the interviews. Named after writer Marcel Proust, the questionnaire is based on a 19 th century parlour game designed to familiarize guests with each other. One man declined to fill out the questionnaire, another revoked his at the 11 th hour.

Another candidate dutifully filled out her Proust, but could not schedule an interview prior to the extended deadline.

Each questionnaire contained answers that were both revealing and expected. For example, enough candidates chose Bono as their favourite musician to warrant a Pemberton chapter of the U2 fan club. And, perhaps not as surprising, an unusually high number of candidates claimed to find bliss in some aspect or another of the democratic process.

No candidate was contacted fewer than three times via in person discussion, e-mail messages and phone calls.

All council candidates were asked the same basic set of five questions. (School trustee candidate interviews focused, predictably, on education.) Some contenders inventively slipped a couple of pet concepts into the framework. A few actually had the guts to admit when they didn’t have an answer to a question.

One candidate took the unique tact of interviewing himself, providing essay answers for each of the subject areas I had advised all candidates that I would be focusing on. This saved me considerable typing. Because this showed Chutzpah, I thought, "what the heck". At the last minute the essayist requested all his text be removed in favour of a minimalist message containing a mere three words. The candidate who could not do a phone interview is represented in these pages by her press release.

All anomalies are duly noted.

— Cindy Filipenko

For a chance to ask the candidates the questions on your mind, you can attend the All Candidates Meeting, Monday, Nov. 7, at the Pemberton Community Centre. You can meet the candidates starting at 6:30 p.m. The actual forum, moderated by Dr. Hugh Fisher, runs from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m .

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