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Council Briefs

Council retreat fosters team building



It will take a strong team to face the multi-million dollar decisions pressing on Whistler’s new council.

Building this team was top of mind at a two-day retreat with senior staff and council at the end of January.

"We had fruitful discussions, we all expressed a desire to work as a high-performance team, we’ve built confidence in that team and we are ready to move forward on our priorities," said Mayor Ken Melamed.

Usually these retreats yield three to five top priorities the council is committed to completing over their three-year team. This time around the priorities are numerous. They are: resident housing, specifically the Rainbow development; completing the master planning for Lots 1/9 in the village and a decision on the Paralympic sledge hockey facility; planning the athletes village; and completing projects already underway, such as the library, the landfill closure, the sewage treatment plant upgrade and the First Nations memorandum of understanding for developing land in the resort.

"We preferred to put all the initiatives that are on our plate which have been mapped out in a… chart and they just sit up there like this big challenge," said the mayor.

"Everybody threw up on the board what projects are on the block… do they stay, do they go, what can we take off. Everything pretty much stayed."

Many projects are linked to very tight timelines.

"The only way we’re going to meet the formidable challenges in front of us is if we work as a team," said Councillor Tim Wake.

Council also committed to improving community relationships, particularly among key stakeholders in the resort. They will do this through improved communications and more consultation.

Senior staff will review the priorities list in the coming months and make recommendations on how to move forward through the Five Year Financial Plan. The budget must be approved by May 15.

Team in place for Lot 1/9 planning

Ten community members will have a key role to play in the future of Lots 1/9 – the proposed site of a multi-million dollar arena.

The task force is charged with helping the municipality determine the best use for this prime piece of village land and see if Whistler can build a Paralympic sledge hockey venue there for the 2010 Winter Games.

Though staff recommended choosing three community members to join the task force, council could not whittle down the 20 applicants. Instead they chose six, representing a broad base of the community.

They are: Drew Meredith, Bill Murray, Kate Power, Anita Cote, Mike Hawes and Kasi Lubin.

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