Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed out

Party on, Grant



Hey boys and girls, let's have a party! Cake? We gotta have cake. Ice cream? Mmm... maybe too messy. But maybe. Mascots? Oh please, can we? Can't get too much of those cuddly fur balls. Besides, I hear they're out of work and nearly desperate. I wonder if they've still got the flying moose and beaver costumes left from the Closing Ceremony? The big table hockey players would be a hit.

Whistler's not quite ready to get back to work yet. Our Olympic hangover has joined forces with spring fever and, oh, what the heck, it all just feels so good to feel so good, don'tcha know. Can't we keep this buzz on for just a little longer? C'mon honey, hustle down to the corner and turn a couple of tricks, Daddy needs another fix. He's startin' to hurt inside. Reality's fightin' hard to get a handhold. Adult responsibility is knockin' at the door and that bastard landlord wants his rent. T'ain't fair, just t'ain't fair.

Of course, we're all going to have to work on that pesky councilor Lamont. What's up, Grant? Party pooper. What don't you understand about We're Whistler; We're Special. C'mon boy-o, we need a party. I mean, it's been like, what? Almost a week now? Sorry, what'd you say? Oh... yeah. Okay, it's only been a few days. But duuuuude! It's so, like, fun. We can all dress up in our red and white Team Canada sweaters, don once more our red mitts and shake our self-congratulatory booties till the Mounties tell us it's time to go home like good little boys and girls. Get with the party, gramps.

I suppose you want us to save the money. Maybe until we figure out how we're going to pay for that monstrosity of a bus terminal we'll probably never grow large enough to fully need. Or put a few bucks aside for this year's budget surprise, courtesy of Judge Adair's ruling in favour of those people who "love Whistler so much" they decided to sue us because they didn't like the price they got when the town expropriated their land 23 years ago. Or is it the potential cost of that rash decision to move the asphalt plant before spring turns to summer.

Surely it isn't any possible concern that we overspent during the Olympics to impress the rest of the world about what a cool place we are... is it? Naw, I didn't think so. That was soooo essential. Hell, you'd have to be a real Scroogester to complain about a little pop on your property tax bill because of that.

So 'splain yourself, man. You just gettin' old or has your time in a council chair made you go all amnesiac about what a total party dude you used to be? Yeah, I know how having a family can make a guy grow slowly conservative - not trying to be too harsh, bro; I used a small "c" - but if you need a memory jog, we can scare up some pictures of you back when you were more down with spending money you hadn't earned yet.

And it's not like you have to go out on a limb here. Heck, you're already out on a limb. Don't see any of the other elected officials or senior staff out there with you. I'm pretty certain Kenny'll say this is just tokenism. I mean, really, you're getting worked up about $150K? That's so chump change. Hardly even a rounding error in the overall budget. Everyone knows you can't balance the municipal budget nickel and diming largely symbolic expenditures... things like automatic pay increases for yourself, you dufus.

After all, it's money that's ALREADY IN THE BUDGET. What is it you don't understand about that rationale? How many times do you have to be shown how totally effective an argument that is against any of the sniveling, whining, "You're spending too much and raising our property taxes" crybabies who think we ought to be living within our means? It's in the budget, dude. Been there since, oh, 2008. It's not like anything's happened on the economic front since then to have it make sense to revisit any of our proposed, BUDGETED, spending. Man, pull your head out of your a..... The rest of us are down with continuing to Invest In The Dream.

What? What'dya mean I don't know the difference between investing and spending? You're the one who doesn't know the difference. Says right in the name it's an investment. When you spend dough you actually have to make yourself feel better about what a cool dude you are, that's just spending. I think they call it discretionary spending. But when you spend money you don't have, money you'll eventually have to borrow from mom and dad taxpayers, that's investing. Trust me. Okay, if you don't want to trust me, ask one of the financial geeks; they'll explain the difference to you. They're down with the party.

Hey, it's not like we don't all bleed a bit for, what was it, Community Enrichment Programs. Yawn... booorrringgg. Let 'em hold bake sales. Ummm... bake sales. Can't get fat eatin' cookies at a bake sale, not one for a good cause. Sorry, what? I'm drifting? Whatever. The point is, sure, we could spend the money other ways. We could save it, we could fund "worthy" causes, we could practice fiscal discipline. We could... if we were someone else. But we're not. We're Whistler!!! We Did It!

Talk to Michele, Stuffy, she gets it. She understands - or at least claims to, yeah, I know, it's her job - how great it would be to have us come together and celebrate again, to reflect on how great we were, er, it was. Dude, we have to keep that spirit alive.

Look, we've got three weeks until the World Ski and Snowboard Festival rolls into town. Three weeks! Plus the rest of this week. Hell, if we don't get down and party before then we might be starting to forget what cool people we are. If we don't take this opportunity to get together and pat each other on the back, bask in our collective glory, reinforce our new, supercharged world-classiness, we'll... we'll... I don't know what but I'm pretty sure we'll take such a collective blow to our shared self-esteem that the only growth industry in town will be crisis counseling.

I really think you need to get with the program, Grant. Maybe we should get a few of your close friends together for a little intervention before you stray too far from the righteous course. Jeez, I'll bet you even made an RSP contribution this year. You're gettin' old, dude. Gettin' old.