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Council suspends pay parking at conference centre

Residents call on council members to ‘cut costs’ during heated meeting

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To this, Melamed replied that when the 2009 budget process began in January, council looked at all the numbers, including staff wages, and for various reasons decided they were fair.

Brian Niska, owner of Whistler Flyfishing, also approached council with several questions. He asked if council would consider reducing the fees on Main Street since the parking spots do not appear to be used as much this year as last year.

He also asked council to be more honest about their decision.

"You should say, 'Hey, look, people are pissed at us. We haven't made the right moves here. We need to make some changes. And the main reason we didn't look at cutting costs with municipal jobs was the Freedom of Job action.'"

Council approved pay parking at the conference centre in April to help balance the municipal's finances and encourage people to use alternative transportation like bikes and buses. Originally, the pay parking included a two-hour limit. The limit was dropped last month, however, after municipal staff tuned into the numerous complains from residents.

Three of the five day-skier lots are also earmarked for pay parking after the summer of 2010 in a plan that has been on municipal books nearly 10 years. Lots 4 and 5, however, will remain free.

Following council's decision to suspend pay parking at the conference centre, almost everyone quietly left the theatre before the rest of the council meeting got underway.

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