Whistlerites throw hat into the ring for council and mayor as deadline approaches 

Sue Maxwell, Steve Anderson, Michael D'Artois to run for council, Shane Bennett running for mayor

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED. - CANDIDATES DECLARE Sue Maxwell, pictured above, along with Steve Anderson and Michael D'Artois announced this week they will seek election to council. Shane Bennett is running for mayor.
  • Photo submitted.
  • CANDIDATES DECLARE Sue Maxwell, pictured above, along with Steve Anderson and Michael D'Artois announced this week they will seek election to council. Shane Bennett is running for mayor.

Waste management specialist Sue Maxwell has announced her candidacy for council in Whistler's municipal elections next month.

A principal at sustainability and zero-waste planning firm, Ecoinspire, Maxwell has lived in the resort for the past six years and has followed the work of Whistler's current council closely, inspiring her to vye for a spot at the council table in the Nov. 15 election.

"I've been paying attention to what's happening in council and the community for a while, and I had volunteered on the Community Advisory Group for the (Official Community Plan), so just taking a look and seeing that there's clearly a need to readdress some of the issues around the OCP given it's been challenged in court (motivated me to run for council)."

Maxwell said she's met with the majority of council and Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden to get their perspective on a range of municipal issues, and was impressed with the collaborative dynamic at municipal hall.

"It seems like quite a positive place to try and move ideas forward," she said.

"There's a lot of good work that's been done so we need to make sure we're building on some of that work around financial management, economic partnership and the education plan."

Improving relations and working with Whistler's First Nations neighbours in the next council term is imperative, Maxwell said, who hopes to see the resort's most recent draft OCP come into effect after its provincial approval was squashed in B.C. Supreme Court in June. As a result, the RMOW was forced to revert back to an earlier version of the OCP, finalized in 1993.

With her depth of environmental experience and as a volunteer on the community's Whistler2020 task force, Maxwell would like to see the upcoming council address climate change in the next term.

"A key thing... is making sure we're ready for a future where the climate is changing," she said.

Maxwell has volunteered for numerous zero-waste initiatives, and has sat on the board of the BC Recycling Council. Previously, she served as the environmental management coordinator at Vancouver Coastal Health and the manager of nutrition at Kitimat General Hospital.

While Maxwell has received the endorsement of several current councillors, as of press time her candidacy has not been officially confirmed with the RMOW.

As Pique went to press business owner, river and mountain guide, and residential homebuilder Steve Anderson, who ran unsuccessfully in the last election has also declared for council along with real estate agent Michael D'Artois. Long-time resident Shane Bennett is running for mayor, as he has done in previous elections.

At Last night's council meeting, Oct.7, Whistler's new Chief Election Officer was also announced. Lorna Dysart will replace Shannon Story who was appointed in February, and is currently on leave. Laurie-Anne Schimek will remain in the role as Deputy Chief Election Officer for the 2014 election.

Municipal councils and regional district boards are required to appoint a local Chief Election Officer to ensure the election process is run in accordance with the Local Government Act, the Community Charter, the School Act, the Offence Act, the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act and the Whistler election bylaws as applicable.

Dysart brings years of experience in the city clerk's office at several municipalities as well as human resources and other municipal-related experience to the position. She began her career with the City of Kelowna, then moved on to the City of Vancouver and most recently was the municipal clerk in Okotoks, Alberta. Dysart was also part of the team that created the foundation for the Bowen Island Municipality, the first-ever island to have its own municipal government.

The nomination period opened at 9 a.m. on Sept. 30, at 9 a.m. and closes October 10, at 4 p.m. The nomination period is the only time that the chief election officer is permitted to accept nomination papers.

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