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The Melamed Administration saw the promotion and commitment of Whistler to some very large capital projects without proper consideration of the full capital costs, operating costs and impacts to business and the community. These projects included the composter, District Energy System, Garage Mahal and the catchment structure/day skier parking lot paving. The annual cost of municipal wages and salaries since 2005 increased from $16 million to $24 million yet basic municipal services are cut, transit fares raised, transit service reduced, pay parking must be imposed and we have seen a continued rise in property taxes well beyond inflation.
The bottom line, in my opinion, was that Mayor Melamed's zeal for all things green and the former CAO's lust for getting into and growing municipal business outside of traditional core services was not tempered by much in the way of common business sense.
Their activities were, however, tempered and resisted by a number of the local councillors. Had they not been there, conditions could be far worse with such things as a brand new Muni Mahal, greater parking fees, more expensive district energy systems, RMOW commercial buildings around Whistler Olympic Plaza and on and on.
Some level of consistency, continuity and experience within local politics is a good thing. In my opinion, Whistler voters should look carefully at, not just each candidate's campaign platform but also the actions and voting records of individual councillors.
Beware the bears
To borrow a line from Mark Twain, "The reports of my attack have been greatly exaggerated."
I feel an obligation to the efforts of bear awareness advocates to recount this tale as it happened for all to read so you'll know.
In truth, the bear (that) "attacked" Tyson and I on our nightly walk around the Cheakamus Poop Loop was being "attacked" himself and rightfully fought back. I'm just glad that my irresponsible behaviour didn't result in my dog-friend's death or my own!
As it happened, I did exactly what you are NEVER supposed to do when encountering a bear. I approached it. In my own defense it was very dark - a point worth mentioning as the lighting in some areas around Cheakamus is very poor. The bear was sitting on the edge of the driveway at athletes village next to a bear sized shrub which I did not notice as I approached.