By G.D. Maxwell
I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas. Its an uncomfortable, sand in your underpants, honey on your fingers, sunburned thighs on vinyl seats kind of feeling. I know its coming, I know itll get here, I know I can wait it out, but Im pretty sure Im going to be disappointed. My glass aint half empty; its got a hole in the bottom.
I know the toy Ive been waiting for will be shiny and new when it arrives and Ill open it with the highest of expectations. Im sure its play value will give me an instant buzz before its half-life of familiarity begins to numb my senses. Im sure itll break before I know it, slam up against its inherent limitations and my insatiable expectations. Before all the shine is gone, Im certain Ill be casting about for something to replace it, woefully aware of its failings.
Of course, what Im really waiting for is the long-delayed, stunningly over-budget, hyped beyond all reality Officious Sustainability Plan Whistlers new community blueprint for managing the future of our happy mountain home.
Saddled with overblown expectations, doomed to mediocrity if not outright failure, quite possibly stillborn to begin with, the OSP has morphed into Whistlers very own Legal Proceeding. I used to have a prof who was fond of likening the rule of law to both a sword and a shield. It had the power and truth to cut and thrust and get to the bottom of matters while, at the same time, providing a protective buffer between the individual and the state.
Too often though, particularly in the dark world where the light of public curiosity shines into the void of official decision making, the law, or at least the commencement of legal proceedings, becomes a Cone of Silence. It descends and provides refuge for public officials. It gives them an easy out to avoid the hard questions. It lets them stand mute lest they taint ongoing legal proceedings.
Whistlers OSP has provided much the same comfort and opaque obfuscation in its enduring absence. Hard decisions have been delayed. Actions have been postponed. Opportunities have come and gone. Weve waited for The Plan to show us the way, reveal the correct path like an all-knowing magic 8-ball.
Except, of course, for any decisions or actions involving the Olympics which is the yin of action to the yang of the OSPs delay. Between the two, its like hitting the Daily Double for avoiding any concrete responsibility for action or inaction. Bonus.
But whether The Plan is in place or not, the future is unfolding all around us. What kind of future shall it be?