Council Briefs 

‘Gong Show’ at Whistler’s public parks

A complaint about drugs, booze and off-leash dogs at Rainbow Park has prompted council to look into various strategies to address these problems at all of Whistler’s public parks.

"I don’t go to the beach anymore it is so upsetting and so unpleasant and I am a Whistler taxpayer," wrote Barbara Jane Dow, who called the weekends at Rainbow Park a "Gong Show:"

"I ask council to consider more enforcement, even undercover police."

Bylaw Services Supervisor Sandra Smith said they have been trying to work with youth about open booze as well as trying to educate people about leashing their dogs, but the problems still persist.

They have also doubled enforcement patrols and two bylaw officers patrol the parks about three times a day, in addition to RCMP patrols.

One of the next steps may be putting sandwich boards up at the entrance to every park outlining the rules.

Bylaw officers issued 171 tickets for open liquor in parks during the month of May. Less than 20 were issued last year during the same time period. This is because the municipality can now give a $100 fine to anyone who is carrying open liquor in the parks.

The fine for having a dog off-leash is $50 but usually the dog owner is given a warning first.

Councillor Nick Davies questioned: "Why is it when I park in a fire lane, I don’t get a warning?"

Smith said that most of the people hanging out at Rainbow Park are residents as opposed to visitors. And though Lost Lake Park has tourists during the day, it switches back to a resident’s park in the evenings.

If the problems persist, Councillor Ken Melamed is not averse to taking a tough approach, particularly for the dog walkers breaking the law.

"We’ve reached out by creating non-leash hours at the park," he said.

"I’m quite comfortable banning dogs from out parks if that’s what it takes."

Old clothes provide funds for community services

It’s no wonder the Re-Use-It Centre has had a 25 per cent increase in profits this year.

Every day roughly 38 bags of clothing gets dropped off at the front doors.

"And those are the usable ones!" said Jessie Pendygrasse, one of the board members of the Whistler Community Services Society.

Pendygrasse and fellow board member Gill Ackhurst updated council on the society’s progress over the past year at Monday’s council meeting.

The WCSS is a non-profit organization heading up a number of community programs in Whistler.

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