Last book read:
Natural Step for Communities
What music are you listening to these days? John Coltrane, Bruce
Cockburn, Phish and The Cure
Favourite recreational pursuits:
Hiking, golfing, skiing, swimming and reading.
1. Why are you running for council?
I want to ensure the economic health of our community. We have
done a great job taking care of our environment, and we work hard at taking
care of our community. However as I look at what the issues are now, I think a
weak economy will translate into a weak community and a decreased ability to
take care of our environment.
I think I have something to offer. I work hard, I listen, and
my door will be open. I have found it difficult trying to communicate with
council on some of the projects I have presented myself. I would like to see us
be even better than we are.
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
Cut spending. It is pretty straightforward, but there are not
many options I support for alterative streams of revenue for the municipality.
I would support an application to the provincial government for a piece of the
land transfer tax, but the bottom line is we are going to have to make some
tough decisions and cut some spending.
3. What other important issues does Whistler face in the
next three years?
We need to diversify our economy. It makes some sense to
consider a university or a high tech sector and just finding out if there are
any other industries that make sense in our community. We are tourism experts
and we need to continue doing that but I don’t understand the hesitancy of
looking at alternative streams of revenue for our valley. I just don’t want us
to take any opportunities off the table completely.
Daycare needs to be dealt with almost immediately. I spoke with
Christine Buttkus the other day, who is one of the people pushing hard to find
a solution, and they still need some help.
We all know Whistler is facing serious effects from the global
economic downturn and we need to get some of our local business experts
together and come up with some real and practical solutions right now. I would
support seeing representatives of the chamber, Tourism Whistler, and the
municipality getting together and considering where we go from here. I agree
that we are better set up than most ski resorts but that does not mean we do
not need to respond quickly to what is happening. We need to come together and
really help Tourism Whistler drive room nights. We need to come together and
help the chamber address short-term employee housing. If we just leave them
alone and don’t give them the support they need, we will find ourselves in even
more trouble than we are in right now.
4. What needs to be done to address those issues?
Look hard at the proposal for the University of Whistler. There
have been suggestions that a land swap might make some sense. We should
investigate whether or not that is a reality. A university in our town is a
green and sustainable industry if there ever was one. If there is a way we can
make it happen, we should.
As far as daycare, there are experts dealing with this right
now, council needs to listen to the solutions that they will come up with and
do whatever we can to make sure that they are successful. The solution will not
be a municipally-led solution, but it can be a municipally supported and backed
solution. Trust the experts.
Overall we need to bring local experts to the table and listen to them and help them make decisions for our community. I’d like to see our community not take any options off the table completely. I am dedicated to make Whistler work well even in really difficult times. The next three years will be difficult and I am up for the challenge.