RCMP are encouraged by the latest round of dialogue over village rowdiness, although the officer that attended the first meeting of the informal Whistler Noise Abatement Committee says there is still a long way to go.
"It was a very productive meeting in the sense that (the committee) provides us with an entity to be able to address these issues," said Staff Sergeant Marc Lavergne of the Whistler-Pemberton RCMP Detachment. "I think the organization and formalization of this group is exactly what we needed, now we just need to get the wheels rolling and get going. Like any new organization it takes a little planning and time for that to happen."
Lavergne acknowledged that meeting participants were not in agreement over how to handle the issue of rowdiness in the village, but says that is why the group will be successful.
"What makes it work is the difference of opinions," he said. "The meeting was a cross-section from all the different facets of the municipality, and everyone perceives and foresees things from different points of view. When we get together like that and share these different points, we can come out with a great resolve.
"Im really enthusiastic. Im hoping were making headway, and can make things a little better."
The July 13 meeting was a follow-up of a general meeting held on June 16 to discuss the issues of noise, rowdiness, and violence in Whistler Village. An estimated 125 people attended the first meeting, which was hosted by the Delta Whistler Village Suites hotel in response to complaints surrounding the May long weekend. There were no shortage of ideas put forward, but it was clear that there needed to be a formal process for any of suggestions to be implemented in order to be fair to all of the stakeholders.
Dennis Hilton, a North Vancouver consultant who owns a unit in the Adara Hotel, took it upon himself to organize the next step and facilitate the July 13 meeting. Only nine representatives turned out, although several other stakeholders, including delegates from the hotel industry and municipality, remain involved in the process.
Once the group established a general frame of reference, identifying the problems and root causes, the committee got to work on solutions, says Hilton.
Many of those ideas have been suggested before, including in a 2004 report from Bylaw supervisor Sandra Smith, "but nothing much happened with that document, which were using as a basis of discussion going forward," said Hilton, adding that a more formal committee is required to ensure that suggestions are implemented.
"At this time were identifying what were calling the low hanging fruit, the small things we can do immediately and get support for, addressing issues of noise, vandalism, public drunkenness, etcetera."