Name: Jamey Kramer
Age: Add the two digits together and it equals 10
Occupation: Snowboard instructor/Hobby filmmaker Last book read: Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins. The best book I have ever read is also by Mr. Robbins, it's called Perfume Jitterbug. The author has an outlook on life akin to my own and this book is amazing. If youre ever feeling down and out, or even a little lost in your life's journey read this book!
What are the biggest issues facing Whistler?
Personally, it's to keep Whistler affordable so I may one day raise a family here. On a global scale it's protecting Whistler from the capitalist American business model of building and consuming in the name of greed, to fill the pockets of the ultra rich until we essentially ruin the place. It is not sustainable and no longer has a place in Whistler... or the rest of the world for that matter. Unfortunately decisions are still being made (with the exception of one current sitting council member) in the best interests of that business model. It is my goal during this campaign to educate people to this fact.
What needs to be done to address those issues?
Affordability requires action instead of talk and I have a neat idea that warrants discussion. There is a demographic that big business in Whistler considers as the bottom end of the market: Young adults. This demographic has been relatively untapped due to the price of goods and services in our community. These people do have money, just not enough to make a typical visit to Whistler practical. They also represent a potential workforce in future seasons if they enjoy their holidays.
I propose we build a world class hostel (named The Farm) within short walking distance of the village, owned by the community on municipal land. Our hostel will be entirely unique as it will be operated as a non-profit organization to keep the emphasis on affordability, instead of your typical big business model of beating the yearly budgets and maximum profits at all costs.
I propose The Farm have a small restaurant/pub, as well as a community store where locals working paycheque to paycheque get essential food and personal hygiene items at cost. Residents would require a membership to gain access to the community store. In the restaurant I would have different $5 breakfast, lunch and dinners served every day for the people who might come to depend on it. The hostel would consist of rooms that sleep 6-8 people for $10 a night, along with very, very small single occupancy rooms that go for $25 a night. The pub will be the catalyst in making sure the operation doesnt lose money. Any profits would go towards paying off the construction of the building as well as subsidizing food in the community store (the goal being non-profit).
Can you imagine the long term benefit to the community of having such an operation? Think of all the young blood and enthusiasm it would bring to the village. Imagine the shock of the national press when they catch wind of such a forward thinking plan. The subsequent stories would show we are serious about making Whistler affordable to those we rely on as a workforce.
I had hoped the hostel could be built on a section of lots 1/9, but after attending the council meeting Oct. 17th, it appears the sledge hockey arena is going to referendum with the blessings of council. The majority of peers I discuss the village arena with think it's a good idea until I explain the $12 million debt we will incur (and the inherent risks, such as cost overruns and the possibility it becomes a white elephant like the Olympic Stadium in Montreal). I will likely vote no when the time comes, keeping in mind the no vote probably means we still get $8 million from VANOC towards another rink at Meadow Park (a fiscal solution with little risk at all). A mistake was made in the early 90s when council decided to build the rink in Alpine, but its one that is easy to live with.