Pique Oct.27, 2011
Occupations: Partner in WhistlerBike Guide.com . Owner of Endorphin Recreational enterprises. Event management and recreational consulting. Sitting Council member. Parent to Mahon, 15, and Caleigh, 11, wife works for Village of Pemberton.
Furthest Place Travelled : Hawaii, Southern Baja, Canadian Arctic
Describe yourself using five words or less : Visionary, action-oriented, empathetic, tactical
What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you: Used to be good friends with Chief Joe Mathias, Grand Chief, Assembly of First Nations in my North Van days.
What do you see as the top election issues?
1) 2012 budget and staff wage negotiations going forward with an Organizational Review. Going back to a traditional local government organization with planning, engineering, utilities, etc. to isolate core services and create Resort Experience 2012 as a new Tourism Whistler comprised of a combination of resort partners to administer the RMI or hotel tax, post HST. 2) Class 1 and 6 - finding an equitable solution that minimizes the $2 million per year we bleed on this. Even getting 50 per cent of it back would be a win. Maybe have to get a lobbyist to work on this for us in Victoria. 3) Volumetric Zoning - getting more tax revenue from space that already exists. Make it legal, energize the building industry with tons of renovations to make things safe and legal, eliminate a huge liability risk for the taxpayers of Whistler and improve safety for our firefighters. 4) Keep growth in check and formulate a referendum process for rezoning lands when the opportunity exists to enhance and refresh our tourism offerings should we be considering raising the cap - 60 per cent approval needed. 5) Improve Corridor Relations and begin working collectively to market the region more effectively with Squamish, Pemberton, First Nations.
How would you address the budget shortfall?
Freeze spending and taxes to zero per cent; eliminate subsidies for solid waste to other regions; increase occupancy by value-added offerings and free parking in most of the day lots; go back to province to renegotiate the parking lot agreements, which have placed us in hardship; keep pressing BC Transit to build a transit system with smaller buses; a thorough organizational review will also help pull us out of services we should not be involved with.
What do you think is the RMOW's role in boosting tourism?
Work even harder to market to regional visitors with offers to get them here more often. I would even like to examine a free skiing week either early season or the second week of January - we will have to work on some formula with WB on revenues, but I think it could be a winner. Continue to host and assist great events in coming to Whistler and nail down an effective FE&A program (festivals, events and animation) that drives room nights.
What would you do to enhance the environment for business?
More free parking in the village lots. More effective marketing to the regional market. Continue to market the heck out of our bike product and our value-added offerings. Work hard on giving people reasons to come to whistler with concerts both free and ticketed.
Give an example of a difficult situation you have overcome. This past summer I was one of the first on scene at a major head on car accident (that took place) between Whistler and Pemberton with my wife Caroline on a very wet and misty night. I was able to work with others at the scene to secure and close the highway and control the scene until RCMP and emergency services arrived. I felt in control the whole time and knew what to do under pressure. We dealt with the injured parties. No fatalities in a very nasty situation.
Where can people go to get your election platform?
Facebook page for Grant Lamont.
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