Page 2 of 3
"I really wasn't happy with the way it was presented and thought the people who I consider to be working for us were quite condescending to the crowd," he said. "I just thought that was backwards. Since that time I've read every single council package, I've gone through all of the minutes. I've volunteered to be part of the (Official Community Plan) group for over a year as one of five citizen representatives. After following all the goings on the last few years I said, 'okay, now is the time.'
"And if I don't do it then I'm not allowed to talk about it around the house any more."
Hi Brooks said he is coming into the race from two positions. One is as a businessman who has owned and operated several businesses in town over the years, both as an entrepreneur and on behalf of other companies. Recently his newest business, Street to Peak, was forced to close as a result of the tough economy and higher rents.
"I've seen this place at its highest point and at its lowest, and its lowest for me personally," he said. "This (economic environment) is about as tough as its ever been, and I don't know if the people that are currently running the resort really understand that."
He's also coming into the race as a member of the community; someone with children and bills to pay who has been through the same hardship as other members of the community.
"In the last election it was all about the Olympics and the issues around that, and now that it's over I think we need a few voices on council that are representative of the average family in the community. There's no glory in it. We have lots of people who have had consulting-type positions ... I just think there needs to be more representation from the community."
Brooks would also like to see more cooperation between the municipality, Tourism Whistler, the Chamber of Commerce and Whistler Blackcomb to reduce overlap and ensure everyone knows their roles. To that end, he said it's the municipality's role to serve the residents and not to increase tourism. "I think that it would be better if everyone's roles were a little better defined, and I think that we would save some money as well," he said.
Kevin Rae is another long-time Whistler resident who decided it was a good year to get involved, especially with his skill set. He's worked for Whistler Blackcomb for 27 years, including over 20 years in distribution management and over six years in security and loss prevention.