Occupations? Professional photographer and business operator.
Furthest place you travelled and why. Either South Africa or Hong Kong. I was working as a photojournalist.
Describe yourself using five words or less. Mad as Hell!
What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you? I'm actually shy and soft-spoken.
What do you see as the top election issues? Budget shortfalls and municipal accountability to the public. Is the municipality in the business of running the local government or trying to save the world by leading the way on urban sustainability initiatives? Pay parking in the day skier lots, do we charge or not, and how do we pay for it? How much business should the municipality be doing behind closed doors and is it communicating honestly with the people of Whistler? Do we lift the bed cap and allow any more development?
How would you address the budget shortfall? An immediate municipal wage freeze and a total review of all municipal spending. There is too much duplication of service in the different municipal departments, which needs to reviewed and streamlined into core services. I would also like to see RMI funds repurposed from the amenity hub project (currently budgeted at $7 million over three years) and instead go to paying the operating costs of the day skier parking lots. Any municipal contracts over $5,000 need to go through a Request for Proposal process to ensure maximum value for investment.
What do you think is the RMOW's role in boosting tourism? Whistler, in short, needs to get its Mojo back. The RMOW could use village animation funds to support local musicians, DJ's and performers, so that Whistler is known as a destination famous for live performances. The large shows could still be kept, but the municipality should be funding them as a sponsor of existing or potential village festivals. The RMOW could also support family and young adult activities, like all-ages shows in municipal facilities, an outdoor skating rink, and supporting a BMX club. Better resort marketing of Whistler as a mountain bike and family destination, rather than just a place for young people to ski and party is also necessary.
What would you do to enhance the environment for business? Pay parking has to be rolled back. Lots 2 to 5 should be free to use. The budget needs to be brought under control to stem crushing commercial property tax increases. Municipal permitting and regulation needs to be streamlined and simplified as well. The municipality needs to get out of any business interests that compete with local private local business.
Give an example of a difficult situation you have overcome. In 2008 we had a serious fire at our house that kept us out of our home for almost a year. Later that year, I suffered a serious spinal injury that almost left me a quadriplegic (I now have big piece of titanium in my neck as a souvenir).
Where can people go to get your election platform? www.votedavidbuzzard.com