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dave kirk

Council candidate: Dave Kirk Dave Kirk started skiing "the big mountain" in 1966. Influenced by his uncle, one of Whistler’s earliest developers, he invested in a sports store here while teaching school in Vancouver. His store turned 20 last August and in those years, Dave’s served on more community committees than most of us know exist, has been a councillor for the past nine, and wants one more kick at the cat. Pique: Why do you want to sit on council again? Dave: I think I can bring a continuity between the goals and energy and ideas that helped form Whistler in the very first place and the changes we’re going through right now. There’s a new person, a younger person coming on council. They don’t have my background and I think having some historical perspective is important and bears fruit in the things we do in council. I have dedicated a lot of time and energy to Whistler. It really has been a significant part of my life and I haven’t quite finished that part of it yet. Pique: What are the key issues facing the next council? Dave: When the process to change the bed unit cap was included in the OCP, I had my reservations about it. I have now gone through the experience and I’m not sure we shouldn’t review it and see if we can improve upon it. I would like to know the community is more fully informed and aware of the process involved, and see if there are any ideas out there that might make it better, apart from going to a referendum. I don’t advocate referendums on everything, but that may be something that comes out of a public workshop. I have concerns about the Olympic bid. When we first heard of it, in my own mind I wasn’t ecstatic. But we, council, collectively viewed it as an opportunity to enhance our future in Whistler, to gain some things we are going to require here, legacies such as highway improvements, transportation improvements. My hesitation was having a very large outside force mixing in our decision making. I still have concerns about that. And I have large concerns about the lack of information out in the community. I’m advocating community workshops to make sure people are more informed and to gain ideas from the community about some of the issues. Pique: What are the accomplishments of the last council? Dave: We’ve tried to deal with the community side of Whistler. We’ve created municipal financing for the library. They’re on a stable footing now. The next challenge is the actual construction of a facility itself. But now they can count on financing for the job they do. We’ve put into the ground, physically, four, if not five, housing projects that will have made a significant difference to the ability of people to live here with some stability and control over their lives, particularly if they are permanent residents. There have been the vision documents. We are attempting to demonstrate who we are, where we’re going, what our values are, and the tools we need for the future. We’ve created all of that and we’re working through that document and achieving some significant things. The Emerald Forest was a very big challenge to council. It was a very high priority for us. It was an attempt to continue to recognize the need for a balance between the built environment and the natural environment of Whistler. Pique: What have been the notable failures of council? Dave: We had to work on our own chemistry. We had to develop a council chemistry that made it easy to work and less confrontational. We achieved that. We made lots of tough decisions. We had good debates. We were not always together on things and so what? That’s what process is all about: the offering of different opinions. Maybe we’ve been criticized for meeting in camera. The reasons we meet in camera are legal reasons: land, law and labour discussions. We of course have some preliminary discussions on things to expedite the actual council process. Every council does that and everyone who comes to work on a council comes to understand the necessity for informal sessions in order to resolve and understand issues. The slowness on some of the issues could be criticized, but some of those issues, such as the chalet/villa, were very big issues and are much more difficult than the average individual who has a bias one way or another appreciates. Pique: How do you strike the balance between neighbourhood interests and community interests? Dave: It’s important, if you live in this community, that you learn about the goals, the values, the direction this community’s going. We’ve documented that in Vision 2002 and it’s also laid out in the Official Community Plan. When we make decisions, it’s with those publicly created ideas in mind. I don’t care who you are, or what your platform is or what you advocate, you will never be able to satisfy everybody in the community. I tend to always look at the big picture and then try to refer to the smaller picture, such as neighbourhood concerns versus the entire community concerns. An example certainly is the creation of employee housing. I’ve been in many public hearings where there haven’t been too many complimentary points made over the years. But I’ve also been around long enough to see the projects completed. I can’t think of any particular project that didn’t have some revision done to it as a result of the public hearings. Pique: Why should people vote for you? Dave: Because I think I offer fairness in terms of respecting people’s input. In return, I expect people to be fair to each other and I expect people to be fair to me, in terms of listening and trying to understand each other. I try to take all this and provide balance, with the community in mind, with all of the major objectives, with neighbourhoods’ concerns, with individual’s concerns, I try to balance all of that out. And I try to do that in conjunction with our community goals and vision. I am an independent person; I’m a common sense person, and I can work with any group of individuals in the community. And I’m a listener.

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