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Committee system improves

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After a rocky start, Squamish's committee system is beginning to grease its wheels and trundle more smoothly.

At Tuesday's regular meeting of council, a number of recommendations came forward from different committees, and only one of them brought with it the sort of confusion that marked the last council meeting.

The committees on seniors issues, operations and finance all put forward recommendations, with the last entity introducing a battery of just less than 10. Only in the case of operations did the system trip over itself, with Mayor Greg Gardner suggesting committee members don't yet understand the extent of their role.

That committee put forward four recommendations, three of which dealt with Olympic readiness. With the sporting hoorah drawing ever nearer, council has begun to think about the town's image, with the need for improvements surfacing here and there.

Signage and a banner could well end up on the highway. Further, the committee was hoping to borrow Sam the Axe Man, the logger statuary next to the Adventure Centre, to use in its welcoming plan.

The mayor wondered whether or not Loggers Sports, who own the Axe Man, might not have their own plans for the statue. What followed was a back and forth about whether council should approve as recommendation for staff to call Loggers Sports and ask, which, Gardner said, is not something that need come to council. For the sake of efficiency, the committee can simply ask that staff make the call.

Councillor Paul Lalli refuted that, saying the committee doesn't have such authority. "We've got one shot when the world comes to town," he added. "We want to put our best foot forward."

To underscore his point, Gardner voted against the recommendation, as did Councillor Patricia Heintzman.

"I just don't know why we have to come to a council meeting to have staff make a phone call," he said.

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