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Council briefs: Whistler Medallion concept goes to VANOC



Tom Thomson is one step closer to realizing his dream of a Whistler Medallion program during the 2010 Olympics.

The councillor got the go-ahead from fellow council members this week to take his idea to the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC).

Thomson's proposal is for Whistler's young athletes to present commemorative medallions to all the Olympic athletes competing in Whistler.

"I think it would be wonderful if the host mountain resort could make the athletes that come here to our village feel like they are really something special," said Thomson.

"And also in our community... we are not only going to thank the best in the world that come but also the potential, with the youth of Whistler presenting the medallions."

He stressed Whistler Medallion will not require money from municipal hall or take up any municipal staff time.

Hockey rink no, Playing field yes

The second hockey rink council wanted is now off the books.

On Tuesday, Mayor Ken Melamed said council has found out the federal government's stimulus package will not be funding 100 per cent of projects. So the council members decided to change their application from a hockey arena to a park at Cheakamus Crossing.

"Assuming we can put together an application for shared funding to deliver the field, council is pursuing this federal stimulus money for the playing field and not the hockey rink," said Melamed.

"We already had a playing field in the work plan in the long term, although we do not have any current funding for it."

Rainbow roads named

Soon you'll be able to cruise down Crazy Canuck Drive, go for a whirl along Ski Jump Rise, or wander through Pods Place.

Straying from municipal policy, council gave its stamp of approval to the eight road names the Rainbow developers would like to see adorn their new neighbourhood: Crazy Canuck Drive, Bear Paw Way, Black Bear Ridge, Ski Jump Rise, Indigo Lane, Pods Place, Big Sky Terrace, and Rope Tow Way.

The names come from the ski area that used to be at Rainbow, Whistler ski history and the local environment. The names where chosen by community members through a contest.

Municipal policy from 1992 dictates that staff should put together the names. However, council said Tuesday the monikers put forward by the developer were appropriate.

"Normally I am a stickler for policy, but in this case I don't really care," said Mayor Ken Melamed.

"As long as it comes before council for approval and consideration and we stay away from anything that would embarrass us at a later date."

Canada Post switching to P.O. Box numbers

People living outside Whistler Village will have to change their mailing address over the next three months.

Mayor Ken Melamed announced Tuesday that Canada Post is changing the way it delivers mail in Whistler and will now require residents to use a P.O. Box number.

"People who collect mail from super mail boxes will have to go and apply for a post office box," said Melamed.

He said the reason Canada Post gave for this change was so they could "achieve greater efficiencies" in its mail delivery.

Canada Post did not return calls before deadline. 

Forsyth not yet finished with the budget

Even though he voted for adoption of the municipality's five-year financial plan Tuesday - after opposing it two weeks ago - Councillor Ralph Forsyth is still concerned about the figures. This week he brought forward four motions to scrutinize spending and revenue more closely.

Forsyth asked council to direct staff to produce a detailed budget for each department, including staffing levels and wage costs. Next, he wanted to survey staff to see how they would feel about a pay freeze. He also asked council to cut $280,000 from the general budget to make way for money the municipality will spend on the Austria Passive House. And he asked municipal staff to prepare a bylaw allowing advertising on buses.

Municipal staff informed Forsyth they are already preparing department budgets and reviewing staffing numbers. Council did not support Forsyth's second and third motions, but did ask staff to prepare a report on bus advertising.

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