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Beyond myopia

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Already a few jobs have been marked for disposal as a result of the recent review process. Likely these jobs will disappear through attrition, to be replaced by casual workers who don't qualify for benefits. This is a business model that has worked well for Wal-Mart.

Nobody wants to talk about raising taxes on the electorate who allowed this situation to develop by ignoring their civic responsibility between elections. Perhaps taxes should be raised, with the introduction of a tax credit for involvement during council's term. Every time someone attends a council meeting, they would get a receipt for a tax credit.

On the other hand, if municipal employees were just left to run things on our own initiative, probably things would turn out better. Let me give you an example.

In 2003 Whistler opened its new transit facility in Function Junction. It was considered to be state-of-the-art and designed with expansion in mind. It was going to see Whistler through the Olympics and had vision beyond 2020. In 2007, two things happened.

Municipal employees worked tirelessly to create a Five-Year Business Plan for Public Transit in Whistler (2007-2012). It included such things as the already planned expansion of the facility, gradual replacement of the diesel buses with natural gas, stability or reduction of fares and increased service levels.

The same year council started the process to build yet another transit facility, bigger and better than the four-year-old one. They introduced hydrogen buses. Fares have gone up 67 per cent and service levels will drop by 19 per cent this winter

It seems to me that municipal employees created the better plan. The tax paying electorate ignored the whole process. They didn't read the report. They didn't attend the meetings. They didn't write letters and they didn't ask questions.

The taxpayers got shafted because they didn't have enough concern to pay attention. Municipal employees paid attention and had a better plan. Why then, should the municipal employees be the ones to pay for the problems?

Likewise, municipal employees didn't pave the parking lots. Municipal employees didn't build a subdivision in an industrial area and hope the industry would go away. The list goes on.

It seems to me that municipal employees should be given more credit for what we do and should be listened to more. A raise wouldn't hurt either.

Murray Gamble

RMOW Employee

Squamish

 

Concerned with "Concerned Citizens"

Last week's Pique ( Oct.20, 2011) saw a full-page ad from Whistler's Coalition of Concerned Citizens endorsing a list of council candidates. While all listed are worthy of consideration and include some fine choices, notable and concerning is the absence of even one of the incumbents.

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