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Furthermore, I think council should suggest to B.C. Transit that they come before them every three months with an update of the construction and mitigation. While we’re at it, why not ensure someone from the community is following this mitigation (destruction?) of the wetlands?
I’ll be sure to let everyone know (via a letter to the editor) if the otters come back, since this to me will be the true test of the mitigation (destruction?).
No relief through these tools
Like Jamie Pike, I too was confused by Bill Barratt’s letter to the editor (July 31, 2008), where he stated that the dollars from our “financial tools” are intended for and confined to funding tourism programs.
I had always thought that one of the goals of Whistler receiving these financial tools was to provide some relief to Whistler property owners so that the 10,000 residents did not have to fund all of the infrastructure costs related to meeting the needs of the 50,000 people who visit our community on a busy weekend.
In addition, since our taxes used to fund trail improvements, arts and culture programs, I hosts and village enhancement programs, I would expect that our municipal expenditures should decrease, seeing that they are now being funded by the $7 million cookie jar that has been handed to Tourism Whistler and Whistler-Blackcomb. It seems ironic that the Class 6 hotels received a $2.2 million tax break and then get to enjoy the benefits of these financial tools to grow their revenues while the taxpayers get to carry the burden.
I was also amused by Mr. Barratt’s reference to staff always being available to answer questions. If that is the case, why am I still waiting for a response to my letter of Jan. 28, 2008 where I raised a number of concerns about the decision to fund the construction of the debris barrier through the implementation of pay parking? When this policy was announced, we were told that a dialogue with the community was required. Since then there has been no dialogue, other than to request tenders for paving the three parking lots and hold an information meeting in the middle of summer to tell us that they are going to charge us $8 to $12 to park. However, there has been no dialogue as dialogue involves two parties being involved in a meaningful discussion.
Only in Whistler would it cost $4.5 million to pave three parking lots for 876 vehicles. With all of this talk about transparency, why isn’t the material from the July 23rd public meeting posted on the RMOW website? It seems that the only way to engage the RMOW is through the Letters to the Editor of our two local papers. Is anyone listening in city hall?