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Letters to the editor

Profligate and meaningless

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Re: How's this a good deal? and Peter Pan School of Sustainability (Pique letters Aug. 7)

Well said to both Jill Almond and Jamie Pike for their respective comments.

With respect to pay parking at other North American ski resorts as the purported justification for its implementation here — who cares? That has to be just about the weakest lemmingoid excuse yet for ripping off the local residents and taxpayers. The simple fact is that the RMOW continues to make ill-conceived, fiscally irresponsible deals that we all are going to have to eventually pony up for. No matter how you choose to spin the per-capita municipal spending numbers, the RMOW comes out as being profligate.

The focus of the upcoming municipal election should be fiscal accountability and responsibility — especially in light of the current and evolving economic climate. Whistler has gone broke before.

And the words sustainable and sustainability have been so overworked that both have transcended their literal meaning and both have assumed mantra like proportions — almost to the extent that their being appended to just about anything suddenly renders the underlying sanctified, even if the underlying has no basis in reason — “yeah so and so says its sustainable so it must be OK.”

Christopher R. Shackleton

Whistler

Responses to budget questions

This council has been criticized for not communicating enough, and particularly regarding the budget. In addition to open houses, our website, council briefs, and a newsletter, we are fortunate to have two excellent local papers as well as television coverage of all council meetings.

Unfortunately, there were technical problems with the camera equipment at the Aug. 5 th council meeting, so the community will not be able to view the discussions around the budget amendment bylaw 1876.

The Pique did report on some very important questions asked by Councillor Wilhelm-Morden, but the responses by staff were not covered in the paper. Since there is no TV coverage of the discussion, I have tried to summarize some of the responses.

(Pique’s report in italics)

Wilhelm-Morden said that the budget amendment now calls for $34 million in capital spending, up $5 million from May when council first approved the five-year financial plan.

That is correct; the budget has increased by $5 million.

This increase is made up of $2.9 million for parkland acquisition, which was approved unanimously by council on July 16, 2007.

$2.6 million moved from 2011 to 2008, the amount did not change, only the timing, thus making 2008 go up, and 2011 go down. This is due to the change in timing of Whistler Celebration Space (formerly Lot1/Lot9).   When you compare the total project budget overall for the full five years, the overall project budget increased slightly ($0.2 million), as stated in the admin report.

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