Its time for Joe Houssian to step up to the plate and help the burghers of Whistler. After all, hasn't Whistler-Blackcomb been the flagship of Intrawest? Perhaps it is payback time.
According to the report of the annual meeting of Intrawest shareholders, Mr. Houssian is to be rewarded for his efforts by the directors of Intrawest with a salary of $1.5 million and other compensation for year 2002. Under a new incentive, he may receive $5.4 million if certain financial targets are met by 2004. The consultants chosen by the directors of the company state that a substantial "gap" in compensation to Mr. Houssian exists that must be remedied or presumably Mr. Houssian will head south to greener pastures. By the way, Mr. Houssian is to receive a number of stock options of various kinds as well which, using the Black-Sholes model, will likely translate into a few more million dollars. This economic largesse is being offered by the directors despite the fact that Intrawest has lost $11 million in the last quarter, the share price has fallen by a third and the 88c dividend has not changed for years. Almost smells like a John Roth-Nortel syndrome in the making.
Having stated the case, perhaps it is now timely for Mr. Houssian to be a good corporate citizen and advance a chunk of his largesse to the Whistler community for expansion of urgent housing needs, or an MRI scanner for the Whistler Health Care Centre, or expand the sewage disposal unit at Function Junction to eliminate the trauma to the olfactory segment of our brain as we enter the Whistler environs from the south.
But then I digress.
The Library and Museum Capital Campaign, along with the recent addition of the Arts Council project, seems to be suffering from a common Whistler ailment that is, a lack of understanding by the community, which could be due to a lack of communication on our part. I would like to clarify the history of the proposed new building.
A joint library/museum building has been in the planning stages since 1992. A joint facility document commissioned in 1994, The Lord Report , reported that a joint library/museum building would cost $3.2 million (1994 dollars). In this scenario, the library would have a 10-year life span and then would have to expand. The budget did not include professional fees, planning/development costs, parking, furnishings, equipment, and moving the old trailers.
In 1994, the Whistler Library and Whistler Museum and Archives moved into the old post office and doctors offices trailers for a three- to five-year time frame. At that time, the municipality committed $2.5 million toward a new facility. Given the importance of the library to the community, and its extensive use by full-time and part-time residents, the Library Board decided to seek municipal status to better serve the community. This took three years to obtain.