Whitehorse can do better, say first-time candidates for mayor and council

Modernity; efficiency; evidence-based decision-making; long-term planning are all cited as being in short supply at Whitehorse city hall by candidates.

Modernity; efficiency; evidence-based decision making; long-term planning all cited by candidates

Mayoral candidate Colin Laforme wants a more modern approach at city hall when it comes to accessing services and improving efficiency. (Dave Croft/CBC)

A number of first-time candidates in the Whitehorse municipal election are saying they want to bring about a change in attitude at city hall.

Nominations closed Thursday, with 20 people on the ballot to fill six councillor seats, and five people vying to be mayor.

Some, including mayoral candidate Colin Laforme, say the world is changing and the city council should change with it.

Laforme said he hears it a lot around town — city services and city officials should be easier to access. He said there's a sense the city is not keeping up and needs to modernize.

"You talk to a lot of people and... a lot of things the city does is inefficient," he said. "Taxes are going up... taxes are going up everywhere. But people want to see that money being spent more efficiently."

Kim Lisgo says more evidence-based decision making is needed at all levels of government. (Dave Croft/CBC)

Ecologist Kim Lisgo, who is running for a council seat, said a big driver for her is the frustration of seeing a lack of good decision-making at all levels of government.

She wants more emphasis on evidence-based decisions.

"More often than I would like, I see poor decisions being made despite the information that's provided, said Lisgo. 

She said another reason for choosing the councillor race is that municipalities in other jurisdictions have had big successes on issues like climate change.

Andrew Smith believes city council members should be thinking of impacts several generations ahead when they make decisions. (Dave Croft/CBC)

Andrew Smith said the city needs to take a longer view in its decisions by thinking about the impact several generations ahead.

"Making sure that we're not using up all the resources or going in and making decisions that are going to hold back future generations," said Smith.

His three priorities are responsible land planning and use of the environment, available housing, and making sure future generations aren't saddled with long-term debt.