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Whistler: A time for action, of some kind

Even without the input of the voters, this next election will bring a big shake up at municipal hall.



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"To me it’s fairly black and white," he said. "I think that first of all we have to have a common vision or a common goal for the community. And I believe that that goal should be to become the best in North America at putting on events… (both) big and small. So if it’s a choir from Coquitlam Elementary School or if it’s the World Snowboard Championships, we should be the best at putting on both of those events because in four years from now we’re putting on the biggest event of all – the Olympics – and we need some practice."

Those events can be centred on skiing and snowboarding but Carrell believes the time is ripe to diversify and make Whistler a little more weatherproof. Events can focus on health and wellness, taking advantage of the many spas Whistler has to offer, or food and dining, even arts and culture.

"We need to unify the community, I believe, through some sort of goal that everyone can get their teeth into," said Carrell. "It’s a community plan to move forward. And we need to, at the same time, diversify the economy.

"When I go to the poll I’m going to vote for who I think can take this town through the next three years with the best possible outcome for the community on the whole."

Business owner George Koning, who owns three clothing stores in the village, is confident the economy will take care of itself in time. He is more concerned that council has failed to deliver on its promises for employee housing and failed to stop workers from becoming disillusioned about their future in town. The waitlist for employee housing has topped more than 500 separate families or people who are biding their time, hoping to buy into "affordable" employee housing. People are leaving, making their homes in Squamish and Pemberton, eroding the fabric of the community and making it tougher for businesses to attract and retain middle management.

Council placed employee housing as top priority three years ago reminded Koning. Nothing has been built this term, though some big projects are in the pipeline.

Koning said Whistler is owed employee housing from different developers, some dating back more than 17 years, such as the units associated with the tennis club development. The employee housing from the Westin Hotel development is still outstanding, as is the Nita Lake housing. And yet, the hotels and homes have been developed.

"There’s been a lack of progress on completing what has been promised," said Koning. "Why hasn’t staff, why hasn’t council, really cracked down on that?"