Council candidates MUNICIPAL ELECTION

COUNCIL CANDIDATES n DAVE AUSTIN “I adhere to that old adage — if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not doing anything.

COUNCIL CANDIDATES

n DAVE AUSTIN

“I adhere to that old adage — if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not doing anything.”

What’s tops on two-term city councillor Dave Austin’s list of concerns if re-elected? — A smooth Canada Winter Games.

“Ultimately city council will wear it, one way or the other,” he said on Thursday.

And there are three other projects he’d like to see to completion.

First, the land-development issue.

“That seems to have surfaced as the most annoying issue for people,” said Austin.

“But I think we’re well on our way to finding a better way to do that and I’d like to see that through.”

Second is the Games centre’s finances.

This council and the last were heavily involved with securing funding for the facility.

“I’d like to be around to make sure it doesn’t become a big burden for the taxpayers,” said Austin.

The city needs to be much more aggressive in marketing the sports centre both regionally and nationally.

And third, to improve the Whitehorse waterfront without destroying it.

“I’d like to see it develop without losing its history — I think that could happen if we let it trundle along on its own.”

Along with six years of experience, Austin brings a keen ear to the post and an arm-long list of volunteer experience that goes back 30 years.

He was a founding member of the Klondike Trail of ’98 group, where he also volunteered for 15 years, and he spent another 15 with the Sourdough Rendezvous Society and with Softball Yukon.

n DOUG GRAHAM

“We have to get a handle on our costs and rationalize what we’re doing as a city.”

Common sense and a knack for numbers is what vocal two-term councillor Doug Graham brings to the post.

“Councillors have to understand finances and how budgets are done and what impact they have on people,” said Graham.

Getting the waterfront rejuvenation finished is tops on his list of priorities for a third term.

He also wants the city to get its finances in order so that citizens won’t end up footing the bill.

“I’m very concerned that the cost to taxpayers for many of the things we’re doing is going to get out of hand,” said Graham.

And he’s interested in where Whitehorse’s allotment of $18.5 million in federal gas tax funding will be spent over the next five years.

“I’ve worked very hard through the Association of Yukon Communities and through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to make sure that money came to the Yukon, then I worked with YTG to hammer out an agreement by which it’s distributed throughout the territory and that’s a project I’d like to see through to the end,” said Graham.

Between his day job as Yukon College registrar, his council post, being the Association of Yukon Communities president and a Federation of Canadian Municipalities board member, Graham’s days are full.

Over the years he was involved in sports around the territory, but has since dropped out because there aren’t enough hours in the day, he said.

 

n JAN STICK

“I love the city of Whitehorse and I’m ready and willing to work hard to keep improving our city.”

A small business owner, Jan Stick says she will bring “open mindedness,” a “hard work,” dedication and intelligence to council.

Stick, the least experienced of the six current councillors, succeeded Yvonne Harris, who left the territory about 18 months ago.

She wants to ensure road infrastructure is improved and the city looks at ways it can be more energy efficient.

Then, of course, there’s the Canada Games.

“The big hurdle,” she said, “is the Canada Games, which I’d like to see go off as a huge success.

“Then council will be back to focusing on improving city services.”

Stick has lived in the Yukon for 26 years working with the disabled and as a social worker.

At soup kitchens and in schools, Stick has been an avid volunteer throughout her career which brought her recognition when she co-won the Governor General’s Caring Canadian award in 2004.

She’s also sat on the Association of Community Living board and the workers’ compensation appeal tribunal.

Currently she runs Well-Read Books, which she opened on the corner of Fourth and Ogilvie more than six years ago.

n DAVE STOCKDALE

With 23 years of experience under his belt, Dave Stockdale is the longest serving city councillor Whitehorse has ever seen.

And he’s not about to give up his seat anytime soon.

Vying for an unprecedented eighth council term, Stockdale has defined himself as perhaps the most successful politician in Yukon history.

“I enjoy the work,” Stockdale said in a recent interview.

If re-elected he looks toward a term of working to balance the city’s budget, making sure the Canada Games goes off without a hitch and developing the waterfront.

Stockdale, a retired schoolteacher, is well known for his involvement in sports through the Yukon Soccer Association, the Table Tennis Association and the Sports Federation.

This week, Stockdale was out of town and couldn’t be reached for comment.

 

n BRIAN EATON

“We need to strike a balance between greenbelt and housing stock — both can happen, it’s a matter of consultation and co-operation.”

Cyclist, gardener and social advocate Brian Eaton aims to bring a “community perspective” to city council.

“I want to bring the perspective of the downtown urban resident, rather than the business sector,” said Eaton.

Eaton has lived in Whitehorse for 25 years and has been heavily involved in his community sitting on the Yukon Council on Disability board, the Downtown Residents’ Association board and working with the Whitehorse community garden.

On council, Eaton would implement the recommendations of the transit task force — like developing a five-year marketing plan and creating a commuter loop to service popular spots.

“That would give the city a transit system that works for people,” said Eaton.

Whitehorse may have to look at a period of time where the transit system doesn’t break even, but the city must “ride it out,” so to speak.

“It’s a vicious circle, people don’t ride because the service isn’t there,” said Eaton.

He’d also work to strike a balance between the need for greenspace and housing, he said.

As for his political experience?

“I ran for student council … but I don’t think that counts,” he said with a laugh.

Eaton was also pounding the pavement for the New Democrats during the recent territorial election.

During the day, Eaton is one of two co-ordinators at the Second Opinion Society, which explores holistic alternatives in the mental health system.

 

n JEANINE MYHRE

“Whitehorse needs to grow and we want it to grow, and unless everyone wants to pay higher taxes then we need a higher tax base which means more people.”

Jeanine Myhre promises to speak for the people and not be swayed by special interest groups if elected to council.

“It seems this council has an agenda,” said Myhre.

A small group of people who speak louder than the rest of the pack are getting what they want, which is not what’s best for the city, she said.

And she wants to see bylaws equally enforced across the board.

“It’s not a pick-and-choose-who-you-know kind of game,” said Myhre.

Myhre first put her name in to run on the spur of the moment.

Then she thought about it and realized: It was time for change, said the 21-year-old print shop service co-ordinator.

She’s young and she’s never done anything like this before, but she’s ready to turn her rookie status to an advantage.

“I’d be coming in with no agendas, no political affiliations,” she said.

“I have no desire to go in there and make things the way I want them, I want to voice other people’s concerns.”

Move aside, NIMBY, make way for more development, said Myhre.

But she doesn’t want to see building for building’s sake.

Responsible planning comes through finding compromises with community associations and communities to ease the transitions, said Myhre.

 

n FLORENCE ROBERTS

“Decorum, mutual respect and understanding can go a long way to support the sustainability of our fine city.”

Florence Roberts has kept her eye on land issues in the city over the past few years and she sees “a clear need to review the Official Community Plan to ensure it reflects the interests of residents.

“I have watched developments happen and there have been no alternatives to anything that’s been presented,” said Roberts who also was involved with drafting the greenspace bylaw.

She also would review how the city and the territory fund upkeep and operating costs at the Canada Games Centre.

“My concern is that council and the Games committee have negotiated an agreement that does not adequately consider the future fiscal burden on the city, so that facilities such as the Games centre don’t leave taxpayers bearing disproportionate O and M obligations,” said Roberts.

Third on her list: transit.

“As a candidate that walks the walk and talks the talk, I have observed on multiple occasions, low rider-ship and schedules that appear to be convoluted and not efficient,” she said.

Roberts, now semi-retired, has lived and worked in the Whitehorse area for 33 years in private industry, government and as an entrepreneur.

She would also bring her volunteer experience with organizations like the Fireweed Lions Club, the Yukon Council on Aging, the cancer society and Elections Yukon and Canada.

 

n RON SWIZDARYK

Ron Swizdaryk was out of town and unable to be reached for comment this week.

Contact Leighann Chalykoff at leighannc@yukon-news.com

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