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The one common denominator of all three opportunities lies squarely in the community consultation process, which has been largely ineffective to date.
Of these three, the Comprehensive Sustainability Plan ( Whistler. It's Our Future ) is paramount. It is like our roadmap, our business plan for the next 20 years. Without it, we have no frame of reference for decision making. So it is essential to complete the last phases ASAP. The land bank decision will flow from the CSP, and the affordability issue/financial tools will be addressed through a public input process, set to begin this quarter.
The CSP, while it has attempted at great cost to involve the community, has been largely unsuccessful to date in motivating public participation. In my opinion, the consultants' reports have been far too dry and complex to ignite any degree of enthusiasm.
I see my many years of resort communication and management experience as making the biggest difference. I recognize where and how the previous efforts have failed, and I have creative proposals for turning them around.
I am solutions-focused, an "outside the box" thinker. I am also committed to involving the community in all important decisions before council.
One idea is to link the community input process of the CSP with the issuing of a resident ID card. This card would be available to any eligible voter, and offer across the board discounts for Whistler locals. When applying for the card (as any cost-conscious local would surely be motivated to do), the resident would be given the CSP "proposed futures" options, and given a period of time to review/assess them and cast their vote. Their card is issued upon the return of the CSP survey. (Note: the communication of these options must be both simple and compelling, neither of which could be said of the original consultants reports.)
With this approach, I would estimate an 80-100 per cent response rate of eligible voters, a phenomenal improvement over the 1-2 per cent that have participated thus far. As in all matters before council, communication is the key!
Firstly, I see the financial tools and the comprehensive sustainability plan as unfinished business from the previous council, rather than new opportunities.
Quite simply the financial tools, which were paraded in front of us as given "Olympic legacies" must be delivered by the provincial government. It was a mistake not to secure more than a memorandum of understanding on this initiative before we endorsed the bid. This was the greatest leverage we had at any point to ensure we obtained these "tools".