Whitehorse Daily Star

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MOVING ON – Coun. Rob Fendrick is planning to end his career in municipal politics after a single term. He and his wife plan to move to Carcross.

Fendrick won’t seek second term on council

It’s the end of an era for Coun. Rob Fendrick.

By Stephanie Waddell on September 11, 2018

It’s the end of an era for Coun. Rob Fendrick.

In an interview Monday, Fendrick said he will not seek a second term on city council in the Oct. 18 election as he gets set to retire and move out of Whitehorse to Carcross.

Fendrick is wrapping up his only term on council.

Before that, he had spent 17 years working for the city. His most recent role had been the director of corporate services before he was fired without cause in 2015 by then-city manager Christine Smith.

City council later fired Smith without cause.

Fendrick also grew up in Whitehorse, having moved here with his parents as a youngster in 1965. He spent some years in Vancouver following university, moving back to Whitehorse in 1998.

Fendrick said he has loved his time with the city and serving as a councillor.

With his and his wife’s long-term plan to retire this year and build a new home in Carcross (where they have also had a cabin for the last 20 years) and spend winters outside the territory, he knew going in three years ago that he would serve a sole term.

Being on both sides of the table in city hall, Fendrick has had the experience of making the “difficult decisions” council is faced with and being in the role of staff in implementing council’s decisions.

“There’s a lot more responsibility on council,” he said, noting his preference in being part of the decision-making process.

Looking back over the last three years, Fendrick said he believes the biggest accomplishment for this council is the recently approved $1-million grant to the Challenge Disability Resource Group.

The organization plans to build a major housing project at 704 Main St. that will include 48 affordable units, 24 of which will be for Challenge clients.

An additional seven units on the top floor of the Cornerstone Building will be sold at market value. The project also includes an onsite nursing station and cultural programming space for local First Nations.

As Fendrick recalled, affordable housing has been a major issue since the 2015 election campaign, and this is a major step forward in addressing the issue.

His list of achievements for the city includes land development, including infilling a number of existing neighbourhoods; improved relationships with other levels of government, including local First Nations; improvements to the city’s transit system; and efforts to divert waste from the landfill.

Pointing out that it may not be seen as a major achievement to some, the outgoing councillor also pointed to the snow-clearing on the Millennium Trail as an initiative that makes a difference for a number of residents.

Otherwise, they might have a difficult time getting out for a walk through the colder months, he pointed out.

Fendrick also emphasized the work that goes into keeping annual property tax increases as low as possible while providing residents with all the city services they expect.

Taxes went up 2.3 per cent this year, after having risen 1.2 per cent in 2017 and 1.7 per cent in 2016.

“I think people get good value for their taxes,” Fendrick said.

In some cases, he noted, increases in territorial assessments have impacted individual tax bills, though the city was “mindful of that.”

As Fendrick gets set to enter a new phase of his life, he said he’s confident Whitehorse is headed in the right direction, with good leadership on staff.

Looking out his window, he said: “Whitehorse looks like a clean, bright city.”

Fendrick placed second in the 2015 vote, with 2,556 voters casting ballots in his favour.

Seeking council seats so far are incumbents Samson Hartland, Betty Irwin and Roslyn Woodcock, former councillors Mike Gladish and Jan Stick, former Yukon Party MLA David Laxton and local residents Steve Roddick, Andrew Smith, Laura Cabott and Cory Adams.

The mayoral candidates are incumbent Dan Curtis, Rick Karp and Wilf Carter.

Comments (9)

Up 2 Down 2

Josey Wales on Sep 15, 2018 at 6:07 pm

Hey watching...keep watching and welcome to town.
I killed nothing , if you know not of the 6th avenue flying rats?
Reveals you being a newbie...Sherlock.
The only thing off is your local knowledge.
Carry on watching, and revisit your reading comprehension skills if you wish to engage, seems spelling is tactically off too?
Regards, Josey.

Up 2 Down 5

watching on Sep 14, 2018 at 10:11 pm

Josie says: "Just to add another Flash back to the past, community health wise...
I also got completely rid of the pigeons on sixth ave., how selfish, bigoted, racist and xenophobic of me eh? "

This is the second time I've read 'good ol josie' bragging about how he single handedly killed off all the pigeons in downtown Whitehorse. The last time he referred to this and said, "You're welcome."
Care to elaborate, 'Josie'? How did you 'get rid of all the pigeons'? And why?

Something is more than a little off about this, enough so that I remember it from a couple years ago.

Up 11 Down 1

Wanowan on Sep 14, 2018 at 9:03 am

His tenure with council was merely the vehicle to settle a score with the former city manager. I wonder how the current city manager will fare after the election.

Up 4 Down 1

Ilove Parks on Sep 12, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Who is this SJWs who has a kind word for someone who is on council?

Up 15 Down 2

Lost In the Yukon on Sep 12, 2018 at 1:51 pm

He was there for one reason only ... to get Smith fired. Mission accomplished except the real architect of his demise was not Smith (she was just the hired gun).

Up 20 Down 2

Joe on Sep 11, 2018 at 8:32 pm

Fendrick was on council?

Up 7 Down 3

Josey Wales on Sep 11, 2018 at 6:10 pm

Hey Rob...I will agree with you on the MT snow clearing angle.
Dig around those civic records, I remember well stirring the pot, meeting at site with Mr. Crist logically stating a case for clearing the rivers edge and MT...given all the money we pissed away for a Prince Charles royal visit at the time.
In classic Josey style, I argued that if we could go through so much effort for a dude and a day and not for the very folks whom reside here....we have it all wrong.
Whilst not a fan of taxing the civic workload without expectation of costs.
I recognize that clearing the walkways and our roads IS the primary, or one of the civic roles expected rightfully...not entitled big big difference.
Other things NOT the role of a civic government, wealth redistribution, SJW Crusades, and theme park building...buy a SIM City game safer for the community.
So imagine that folks, an ass pain as I historically go back to something Rob acknowledges as important.
Even more remarkable is that there is something he, a civic council member and I a civic pain in their ass...agree is good for the community?

Just to add another Flash back to the past, community health wise...
I also got completely rid of the pigeons on sixth ave., how selfish, bigoted, racist and xenophobic of me eh?

So Rob, and I am most certain you know me well enough...to that I say.
Thanks for your civic time served, despite our many disagreements I seriously mean that.
Also in classic style, and mean not to pee at the picnic...but cynically?

I very seriously do not blame you one little bit for getting the hell outta this town, and to a far more peaceful place.
Your particular role in aiding in those reasons via civic “progressive thinking” which many, in my opinion, decayed our community and created epic polarization.
All that said?

Enjoy your time away, enjoy however you plan to retire.
And Rob, thanks for putting up with me all these years...as I stated?
...I can be a ass pain, but my intentions are community based and as in our agreed accomplishment....logical.

Up 13 Down 2

Ginger Johnson on Sep 11, 2018 at 4:21 pm

PFFFFT - "the snow-clearing on the Millennium Trail " but not the sidewalks in downtown Whitehorse
the basic day-to-day running of this broken city just never interested the current City Council
only new candidates will be getting my vote next month

Up 25 Down 3

Hugh Mungus on Sep 11, 2018 at 3:56 pm

I'm surprised the Star was actually able to capture a photo of him in chambers, 99% of the time he appeared via phone.

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