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Feature - Balancing the ledger

Council accomplishments and… works in progress

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Page 5 of 6

Since then, with Millennium Place still short of money, the housing authority’s fund exhausted and the library/museum capital campaign looking for donations, developers have stepped forward with proposals that include cash donations to each of these community needs.

So in late 2002, with the development cap still in place and a number of community needs yet to be fulfilled, Whistler is grappling with where it wants to go and how it wants to get there. The Olympic bid presents a number of opportunities, regardless of whether it is successful or not.

The Whistler. It’s Our Future process is a real opportunity for people to have their say on the issue, yet its success to date, to be charitable, could be described as mixed.

On the weekend of Sept. 21-22, Whistlerites were invited to the Westin Resort and Spa to discuss the future of their town. Slightly more than 100 people took time out to participate in the four Whistler. It’s Our Future workshops held over two days.

That only about one per cent of the approximately 10,000 people who reside year round in Whistler responded to the invitation could be interpreted many ways. People may be satisfied with the way Whistler is now and the direction it’s heading; they may have been too busy to participate (there were a number of other events that weekend); or the prospect of sitting in a room on a glorious late summer weekend to discuss concepts like affordability and sustainability just may not have seemed appealing.

Some people have made light of the fact that an Ouija board game was one of the draw prizes given away at the workshop, but the process is continuing with Phase II next month and the final verdict can still be determined through participation.

Meanwhile, affordability and sustainability have become the buzz words leading up to the Nov. 16 election. You won’t find a candidate against either, but ask the 20 candidates on the ballot for definitions and you’ll likely receive 20 different answers.

An affordability strategy was to have been completed by the present council by the second quarter of 2002, according to the five year financial plan. Work has started – in December of 2000 the municipality announced it was putting money aside for the strategy and was looking at help from the provincial government in providing a supplementary homeowner grant. The municipality was also going to establish a planning team dedicated to processing employee housing applications.