Wells tops election spending 

Melamed, Crompton, Forsyth also big spenders in ’08 election

Mayoral candidate Kristi Wells more than doubled Ken Melamed's spending in November's municipal election.

Wells spent over $20,000 on her campaign, according to documents filed at municipal hall on Monday. Re-elected mayor Ken Melamed, on the other hand, invested roughly $9,000 in the election.

Both mayoral candidates, however, spent significantly less than Ted Nebbeling in the 2005 election, who raised the most money of any candidate in Whistler's history with $40,000.

All candidates for mayor, council and school trustee positions were required to declare their election spending to the municipality this week, marking 120 days since the municipal election.

A close look at the financial statements also reveals some of the big supporters behind each candidate.

Wells, who lost to Melamed by roughly 300 votes, raised her money from 22 donors. Her three biggest contributors, at $2,000 each, were Tom Horler, owner of the McDonald's franchises in Whistler and Pemberton; Clifftop Contracting Ltd.; and O & R Entertainment, the company behind Maxx Fish, Amsterdam Cafe, La Bocca, and Le Brasserie.

Wells also kicked in another $2,500 herself.

Melamed raised $9,329 of election money through over 30 donations. Among his list of big contributors were Whistler Blackcomb and two family members, at $1,000 each. Mauren Kirkbridge from Telus also gave Melamed $750.

The two mayoral candidates were not the only big spenders in last year's election, though.

Coming up first in the council category was Jack Crompton, who ran the most expensive campaign at $7,000, although he was not elected. The majority of his 11 contributors were family members, according to his statements. In fact, contributions he received from people with the last name "Crompton" totalled $4,300.

Right on Crompton's heels in terms of spending though was Ralph Forsyth, who was re-elected to the council table. Forsyth raised roughly $6,800 in his campaign through 37 contributors. His largest donor at $1,000 was Jimmy Yap, the man behind the proposed Holborn development at the Whistler Racquet Club. Forsyth only recorded $6,340 in election expenses.

Of the other successful council candidates, Grant Lamont spent $4,310 on his campaign, with several contributions from developers like Rainbow Joint Venture and Innovative Building Corp.

Tom Thomson spent $3,400. His campaign contributions amounted to $3,540, with similar donors to Lamont.

Chris Quinlan spent $2,857, with a sizable contribution from Sapine.

Eckhard Ziedler spent $2,444 on his campaign, with over half of that money coming from his company Z Point Graphics.

Ted Milner ran the cheapest successful campaign, with a price tag at $1,335.

All financial statements are available to the public at municipal hall.

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