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I would suggest that this group still represents a large percentage of the tax base. Perhaps Council could enlighten us as to just what percentage of the tax base is paid by property owners who are not entitled to vote.

It is surprising then how little effort the Council makes to reach out to these taxpayers, presumably because they cannot vote. I had several dialogues with the previous mayor on this matter and had hoped that things might have improved. However the only communication that I have received since the election is an e-mail (yes, Council does have my e-mail address) sent on Christmas Eve about the preparation of a five-year financial plan and the existence of an online discussion forum to which the link did not work (hence the small number of comments posted), and about the opening of the library (with no mention of the delays and massive budget overruns). I know of no other initiative to involve the “expat” section of the community in any budget dialogue. Taxation without representation? I feel a Tea Party coming on…

John Fildes

Hong Kong

Skate update at Creekside

We want to take this opportunity to provide the community with an update as to the status of the Creekside Underground Skatepark. After a tremendous amount of vandalism and disrespect his past fall, we were able to meet and work with Whistler-Blackcomb, who graciously provide the space for us, and make a plan as to how to ensure the skatepark remains open but also does not cause more work or troubles for the good individuals in charge of the underground structure.

At that meeting several key things were decided. The first is that in order for us to continue to be given the space to use, we must really stay on top of keeping the area clean, that means garbage, bottles and graffiti outside the designated room. Luckily, for the most part, everyone has been happy to pitch in and the area has been quite a bit cleaner on average but we want to remind everyone to pack out any garbage and not to be afraid to spend 10 minutes cleaning up, it goes a really long way.

Something else that was decided, and this is something everyone must be aware of, is that the park will now be closed nightly at 10 p.m. The lights will be turned off and anyone skating will be asked to leave. We want to stress that this was a mutual decision by both parties and this is something we felt would help eliminate many problems which were occurring at the later hours. We ask that all skaters please respect this and if asked to leave, do so in a proper way.