Occupation: Whistler municipal councillor.
Furthest place you travelled : China with Premier Gordon Campbell and artist daughter Ali Milner.
Describe yourself using five words or less: Financier. Banker. Golfer. Skier. Dad.
What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you? I lost 12 pounds walking my new high-energy rescue dog, Josh.
What do you see as the top election issues? Managing the budget. The asphalt plant must be removed. The new parking plan needs to be implemented for 2011-2012. Transit costs must be managed down.
How would you address the budget shortfall? Since 2005, the total budget has grown from $56 million to $77 million. We need to make informed decisions to manage it down. The service review is complete with some savings in the recommendations. A complete organizational review is underway and I expect more savings to be forthcoming. On top of this, we need to review the businesses the RMOW is in and ensure that they all fit the role for government. My goal is to bring the budget down to around $70 million, which represents about a four per cent increase per year since 2005. On top of this, we have a wonderful investment tool with the RMI and AHRT funds from the province. We need to be smarter about how these funds are invested.
What do you think is the RMOW's role in boosting tourism? A new cultural and economic development plan for the resort.
We need a focused cultural and economic development plan to keep our resort healthy. The plan should support Whistler businesses, not compete with them. The economic overview in the plan needs to examine taxes, zoning and other business issues. We have some wonderful tools. We are well known. We have the new Whistler Olympic Plaza. We have the RMI funding to invest in the resort. We should:
• Create and implement the plan for cultural tourism. This has been on hold since the spring and it should be a priority.
• Improve our competitiveness in the conference business. Conferences today are looking for more than break-out rooms and stackable chairs. We need technology upgrades and more partnership cooperation, a perfect use for RMI funds.
• Move ahead to establish a university. The business plan is solid. It is based upon partnerships that will work well in Whistler. There is no real estate development play behind it. There have been several environmental studies done and it passes with flying colours. And, we know that places with universities attract higher value conferences.
What would you do to enhance the environment for business? Conduct more business in ... public meeting(s). There is way too much that goes on in camera , that is, in secret. We need to create a culture at the Muni that puts Whistlerites and visitors at the centre of a new service standard. We also need to improve the information flow from the proponents to council. In the past year, I have found it very difficult to get the information I need to do my job well as a councillor.
Give an example of a difficult situation you have overcome: In 1998, as Founding Chair of the Whistler Housing Authority, I created a plan to use $7.5 million of Works and Services Charges to build $30 million in employee rental units which the RMOW still owns. This year, for the first election ever, employee housing is not an issue.
Where can people go to get your election platform? Website is www.tedmilner.com , or call 604-938-4946.