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Somewhat 'off limits'
When we learned that local councillors were being asked to direct all media inquiries to the Communications Department at the Resort Municipality of Whistler, our group felt it necessary to respond.
Whistler Watch believes it's important that our elected officials remain as approachable as possible. At times, there may be an inquiry that a councillor does not feel comfortable in answering, and we understand that those queries could be better directed to the communications department.
The media's role is to be accountable to and act as the "eyes and ears" of the public at large. In our democratic system, it is imperative that public officials remain open and accountable, and are held to the highest standards when carrying out their duties and responsibilities.
Over the years, the RMOW has gained a reputation of being somewhat "off limits" to the general public. During the last municipal election, many candidates promised to bring openness and accountability to municipal hall, yet we continue to see more closed door, in-camera meetings.
Communicating with the media and the public can sometimes be a difficult task, and occasionally results in misquotes and misinformation. However, the more we shut the doors and let spokespeople do all the talking, the less credible that information becomes. The public is not interested in an over-edited, marketed version of the issue. Council should carefully consider whether they wish to convey an image of openness and honesty, or one of secrecy and suppression.
Next time council receives a call from the media, we hope they will take the time to answer those questions, instead of curbing the lines of communication.
On behalf of Whistler Watch
What could have been
I was very disappointed to read about lot 1/9 and the ongoing fiasco regarding that space. Especially considering the brilliant building proposal that Norbert Doeblin presented three years ago creating a green building with an ice skating rink, a medical teaching facility attached to it for the hospital, and the amphitheatre on the roof with lots of glass and walking areas. It would have been built, operating, making money by now, and would have been a great legacy to the village.
I just shake my head on how the ball has been dropped by the RMOW on this project and the sheer lack of imagination displayed in this latest proposal.