Alta states: Getting involved 

Answering tough questions about Whistler

"On a circle, an end-point can also be a starting point."

- Heraclitus, Pre-Socratic philosopher and intellectual trouble-maker

Some people just never give up...

Got a call recently from friend and colleague Brent Harley. "Hi Michel," said the familiar voice on my answering machine. "I have a favour to ask you. I know you're going to laugh but in an effort to do my part in trying to shape the future, I have again thrown my hat into the ring and have been appointed to sit on the Community Action Group for the new Official Community Plan for Whistler."

I could tell by his tone that Harley was excited to be involved again in this very important process - even though it meant devoting some serious volunteer time to the task. Talk about committed...

"Anyway," the message continued, "one of the tools that the Muni has put together as a means of drawing out the opinions of the silent majority is a thing called the OCP Brainstorm Workbook. It seems like a good approach. But the jury is still out as to whether this is going to work, being that summer is when people seem to be the least inclined to engage." A pause. "They may have begun to realize this in that they have extended the deadline." A quick chuckle.

"That said," he soldiered on, "and assuming that you haven't already done this, it occurred to me that it would be valuable to get your opinion and thoughts in response to some of the questions. Can I send you an electronic copy of the workbook?"

I got back to him as soon as I could. "Of course," I told him. "I'll do my bit for the future of Whistler. Should be more fun than a root canal session..."

Now I don't have the space on this page to review the whole OCP process (see Bob Barnett's Opening Remarks Aug. 26 for a good intro). Enough to state that this is an extremely important exercise for Whistler residents. The future of the community, as they say, hides in its pages.

Harley is nothing if not thorough. "I don't want to influence your thoughts," he wrote in his intro note to the Workbook, "but the whole question of the development cap is being raised once again as part of the OCP discussion." I could imagine the painful sigh that came with this statement. "Personally, I believe that the removal of the cap is going to turn the place into something completely different than a resort-oriented community. Many feel (myself included) that Whistler is already overbuilt and it is just short-sighted economics that are driving this (cap removal)."

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