I have to hand it to municipal hall, they are the masters of manipulation of information.
I received a call last week and was requested to participate in a community satisfaction survey. I obliged, having also participated in the 2008 survey. In 2008, after it was over, I was left with the feeling that there was something missing. This year, during the course of the survey, I realized that the questions asked and the options for answers given did not cover all of the options available to balance the budget. They never asked questions like:
Should we cut wages at municipal hall to be more in line with real wages?
Do you think that $17/hour is too much to pay rink attendants?
Should we trim the planning and building staff since we have effectively reached build-out? (Peak construction was in 1996 and has been declining ever since. We are currently double the staff in planning and development.)
By carefully manipulating the questions and giving only a narrow range of possible answers, the only options to balance the budget were to cut essential services (such as snow clearing) or raise taxes.
It seems that the survey was specifically designed to support the municipal agenda of raising our taxes to pay for the overpaid staff and their salary increases. Someone should do a proper survey and show the mayor and council what the people of Whistler really think.
Enough is enough
At what point in time do we hold our municipality accountable for their actions? At what point do we the people say enough is enough? Was it our decision to turn the day lots into paid parking? Was it our mistake if there have been budgeting errors made on the behalf of the municipality? Why is it that it is our responsibility to bail out the muni when they make bad decisions?
What do you think is going to happen when there is an increase to an increase in property tax? Well, retail will have to make up that increase, the restaurants will have to make up that increase, hotels, and homeowners will have to make up that increase. Thus rents will have to go up in price, entrees will have to go up in price, T-shirts will have to go up in price, as will hotel rooms.
Do you think this is a wise move for a resort to have to increase prices in a market that has not even bounced back from the Olympics yet? Everyone is already struggling and you want to take more money from us.