For the second time in three terms, a Lamont will be running for Whistler council. Following in the footsteps of his wife Caroline, who was on council from 2002 to 2005 before opting not to run again, Grant Lamont picked up his papers on Tuesday.
Always outspoken on behalf of recreation, and especially mountain biking, Lamont says he has been considering a run for council for a while now. He isn’t running on any particular issue, but rather to be a voice for the community at the council table.
“I think the community needs someone like myself at the council table who has a long history, who lives the Whistler life, and understands what it took to create this place and what it will take to reinvigorate it and breathe new life back into it,” he said. “I have no agendas, no witch hunts, I just think I can make a positive different in Whistler’s future and especially beyond 2010.”
Lamont is the race director of the annual Cheakamus Challenge Fall Classic mountain bike race, and is a past president and co-founder of the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association. He is also a father of two, and says he has concerns about the future of Whistler.
For example, Lamont says the municipality has lost sight of the community and its core purpose.
“I think the dog has to start wagging the tail again, and get back to a place where the staff work for the community. I think there are a lot of people at municipal hall who do a really great job, but I also think we have to concentrate on exactly what their job should be, and what the role of good government is,” he said.
“My belief is that we live in a community with a resort in it, and not a resort with a community in it. If the community leaves, there won’t be much of a resort left.”
Lamont says he is in favour of maintaining the bed unit cap, but would also support ideas for the community to reinvent itself “instead of thinking we can develop our way out of any problem.”
He would like to see the municipality get out of private business, and for the events industry to get back on its feet with a long-range plan and real strategy for hosting events in the community.
He also wants to see more people from the municipality utilized, instead of bringing in outside experts that are not familiar with the community.
“One example is the sustainability centre. We’re bringing in this girl from the city who sounds great, but what about all the people in town that have been working on this from within? I would give people in this town an opportunity to solve problems instead of bringing people in from the outside.”
As a past president of WORCA, and given the importance of recreation to the town, Lamont would also work to restore the Advisory Parks and Recreation Committee where community members would advise the municipality on recreation policy.
As well, Lamont would work to improve relations with Pemberton and Squamish, and recognize their importance to Whistler. “We have to start showing respect for others in the corridor, and care about others instead of cycling about our own problems and using them as bedroom communities and dumps,” he said.