Occupation: Business owner for Behind the Grind Café, Quinny’s, Mountain Hound Lounge
Last book read:
of the Pass
by Steven Volger
What music are you listening to these days?
Right now I’m listening to Matt Andersen. Normally,
I like rock ’n’ roll, blues, but I pretty much listen to everything
Favourite recreational pursuits: Mountain bike, cross-country ski, alpine ski
1. Why are you running for council?
I have three businesses here now, and last time I ran I only had one. The future of this town, the decisions that have to be made, the direction that we are going, and the financial implications of the current economic crisis are just that much more important to me.
We are now coming up to 2010, so we have to think beyond 2010. We have issues that have come to a head as a result of it, and we need to address them right now.
2. Given that revenue from development is declining and the municipality is more dependent on hotel tax revenue at a time of economic uncertainty, how do you propose the municipality balance its budgets the next few years?
We just have to find that balance point, to provide the product at the level that we have to provide it to maintain our status as a destination resort, but we have to be efficient enough with our spending to do that.
Our biggest challenge with that is making sure we utilize our hotel tax properly, and we do not abuse it, so it does not get taken away from us. It is not a guarantee for the rest of our lives.
Then we have to ensure once we get past the Olympics, and we are past all these planning stages, that the nucleus of our municipal staff does not just exist because it is there for the Olympics. If we have to shrink it, we have to shrink it.
3. What other important issues does Whistler faces in the next three years?
Seasonal housing is the number one thing for me. We definitely need to get that. That is going to allow us to address the other issues, which are diversifying our economy and addressing our labour shortages. If we have housing we can bring in workers to work in our industry.
If we allow for some form of an educational institute, whether an arts institute or a culinary institute, that as well will bring in students. Students are the most incredibly human resource there is because they have to work, they have to pay tuition and rent, and they genuinely want to be here. They do not blow off work for 40 centimetre days.
As far as the efficiencies of the municipality, when I talk about whether we shrink or grow the municipal staff, I think it is also about how council operates. Are we spending too much time to go through too many stages of the process to allow for efficient processing, whether it is planning or development issues?
4. What needs to be done to address those issues?
We need housing. We have really taken care of the majority of our needs for long-term residential housing so we must address the seasonal housing, a need that has become very apparent over the past few months.
We need to make sure when we go through our budgeting process, that we are being as efficient as we can with our money.
Also, we need to have an open mind and community to allow for the introduction of some form of educational institute that will allow us to diversify our economy.