Respect and responsibility in our parks
In this day and age, certainly human beings all need to be flexible and willing to adapt in order to "get along".
In response to the two letters in last week's Pique questioning the problems at our public parks, I feel compelled to make the following comments.
Firstly, it is not a case of the vocal minority having a detrimental effect on the "silent majority". In fact, the silent ones are the families at the park, many of whom are offended by the loud, obnoxious behaviour of the people who are openly drinking and drunk at the park.
Many people are afraid to speak up because of the offensiveness of these individuals. I spoke with and watched three families leave Rainbow Park in the course of 30 minutes on Aug. 4. Two families were visiting from out of town and were in disbelief at what they saw. I asked them to write council to provide more input for discussion on finding ways "to all just get along". Getting along is a two way street.
Secondly, when I read letters that ask the public to ignore and accept illegal behaviour in public places in broad daylight I personally have to question the values of that individual. There are many retorts to such a suggestion, but I save my energy to discuss the matter with those who are respectful of others and supportive of building a community that can be enjoyed by all.
This may come as some surprise to some of the Nita Lake opponents, but the primary strategy of the Nita Lake project group was to be completely open, transparent, honest and above board with what we are proposing.
Over the past two years we have made a very deliberate effort to communicate our intentions to the entire community and seek their input. People lead busy lives so this took some effort, but we succeeded. We took our project to the people on numerous occasions. We hosted public events, spoke with several community groups, invited ourselves for coffee, answered inquiries, conducted scientific polling, held focus groups, and publicly placed our development program in the media and directly in front of the people.
We participated in the community sustainability process. We sought out what values are important to Whistler residents. We asked for feedback. We listened very carefully. We responded and we made changes.
We went out of our way to be as thorough and complete as we could. We were pleasantly surprised with the high level of public participation provided by Whistler residents. The development program and associated amenities are very much community centred and reflect the wishes of Whistler residents. At all times we endeavoured to honour the public democratic process.