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Letters to the editor

Some councillors don’t get it

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A comprehensive, though not exhaustive, RMOW-Olympic budget was presented at council this week.

Read the report together with the companion piece on our 2010 preparedness, and decide if the earmarked $8.7 million (not including Game’s operating dollars) is money well spent.

During debate, some councillors wondered if this budget exercise was necessary, highlighting that other councillors “…were (myopically) missing the point” of our 2010 effort.

It “is” council’s job to scrutinize staff reports, line by line, point by point on every expenditure and policy. A thorough vetting of expenditures on issues involving multiple millions of dollars is an absolute!

Which tax streams the money comes from? What is — or is not — included in the numbers? Is the money being carefully administered? These are all legitimate questions.

But I take offence when a councillor self-appoints himself as having a greater insight, a broader vision for what the Olympics will provide by questioning the thought process of others who naively (ignorantly?) “…are not seeing the big picture.”

Boy, the cohones of a first-term councillor telling another councillor (with decades of council and community involvement) that she is missing the bigger picture… wow!

The councillor on the losing side of the Q & A doesn’t need my protection but I take offense as a taxpayer when questions being asked on my behalf are belittled and the inquisitor’s motivation(s) trivialized.

Stow the pom-poms and pleated skirt and ask the tough questions on behalf of your constituents some time.

Finally, one councillor’s suggestion that “…since members of the public left before the Game’s budget presentation… and this indicated a lack of public interest” was just plain goofy. Whether there are two or 200 in the public gallery, I trust that the councillor gives every issue the full attention and due diligence it deserves.

The public does care how $8.7 million tax dollars, (“yes,” even hotel tax revenue dollars) are spent. And so should you.

Brian Buchholz

Whistler

RMOW checked first

In his letter to the Pique entitled Numbers Leave Me Lost for Words, in the Sept. 4 edition of Pique, Lennox McNeely stated: “...our mayor had his trip to the Beijing Olympics paid by an anonymous American — one would hope this benefactor does not have business interests in town.”

I wanted to confirm to the community that the donor of the funds does no business in Whistler. Further, prior to accepting the funds, the RMOW sought legal confirmation that the gift was appropriate to receive.

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