Finn Saarinen wants to turn Whistler around 

Long-time resident believes things are at their worst in 40 years

There are a thousand reasons that Finn Saarinen is standing for Whistler Council, and each one of them is a friend.

"I've been here 40 years, and it's hard to see what's going on," he said. "The current administration is really affecting our lives and lifestyles, and the lifestyles of 1,000 friends."

He's held a number of jobs over the years but is a recognizable face at the liquor store where he gets to talk to Whistler residents from all walks of life - and they all have common complaints, ranging from pay parking to rising taxes.

"Everybody has a story. Front line workers who can't afford to park and are thinking of leaving. Long-time residents that are talking about leaving town because they can't afford to live here anymore," said Saarinen. "We're not protecting the dream.

"I have a neighbour who's been coming here from Seattle for 30 years, and he tells me that if they don't get rid of pay parking he's selling his place and he's never coming back."

If elected, he said he will do away with consultants and listen to the people instead.

"I will vote with the people 100 per cent of the time," he said.

And while he's not part of an official slate, he shares views and platforms with several candidates for council who are also long-time residents of the resort.

"It's not going to be three years of arguing about nothing," he said of the next council.

As one example of where Whistler is getting it wrong, he pointed, again, to the pay parking issue.

When pay parking was introduced, some 1,500 people signed onto a Facebook page in opposition to the plans, said Saarinen.

"So what do we do? We pay a consultant $25,000 to agree that we need pay parking. Why? We have 1,500 consultant in Whistler that we needed to be listening to."

Saarinen said that things are worse off financially than anybody is ready to admit, and that people are angrier than they've ever been about the way Whistler is being run.

"Occupy Wall Street? People are ready to occupy Whistler. This town is on fire with an anger that I've never seen before."




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