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Maxed Out

Anatomy of Change – Part II



Anatomy of Change – Part II

A good atlas is a treasure chest of information and a window to wonder. Crammed with maps, naturally, a good atlas goes well beyond simply duplicating the cartographer’s art. It explores relationships between those plotted land masses and the oceans that surround them, the tectonic forces creating them, the distribution of resources and energy fuelling them, the people inhabiting them and the more nebulous concepts of political geography.

But even the best atlas can’t answer the simple question that often brings us to consult it in the first place: Where do I want to go?

For all its detailed information, neither can Whistler 2020, our highly-touted, widely-praised Official Community Sustainability Plan. While it might help us get wherever we’re going and even help us avoid some perils along the way, the Plan is mute on where exactly it is we’re headed.

That’s the job – one of many – of leadership.

If it seems at the moment we’re rather short on answers to the question of where we’re going, if it seems we’re lurching from issue to issue with no clear vision of which are important, which aren’t and why the difference, if it appears things keep sneaking up on us, you just might ask yourself who’s steering the good ship Whistler and whether they really have any vision of where it is they’re taking us.

The good news is, there’s change in the wind. Our current cap’n is standing down, trading the rough seas of politics for a tranquil Hawaiian paradise.

The bad news is, the new cap’n could be at least as sightless and maybe a whole lot worse.

One of the problems with politics, especially in a small town like Whistler, is that it rarely attracts the best and brightest. That’s partly because the remuneration is woefully inadequate. Consider the mayor’s salary if you will. Coming in at just around fifty-five thousand bucks, it isn’t even mid-level management material at the MotherCorp, is about 25 per cent of what the former administrator made and is even a far cry from what our three assistant fire chiefs each pull down every year.

But elected office isn’t necessarily supposed to be about money. It’s about power, prestige, public service and statesmanship/personship. It’s about making your mark and leaving your town a better place for you having been there.

Or at least it should be. Often though, it isn’t. And that’s not entirely the fault of the people running for office. It’s the fault of the people electing the people running for office. It’s the voters, stupid!

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