November 07, 2008 Features & Images » Feature Story

Council candidat: Bob Lorriman 

click to enlarge 1545lorriman.jpg

Age: 54


Occupation: Self Employed – StrataServe Web Hosting Ltd.

Last book read: The Assault on Reason by Al Gore

What music are you listening to these days? Jimmy Buffet/Grateful Dead

Favourite recreational pursuits: Skiing/Mountain Biking/Road Riding/Sailing

1. Why are you running for council?

As a member of the current council I have three years’ experience and have had the privilege to sit on the following committees: Finance and Audit Committee, 
Advisory Planning Commission, 
Liquor License Advisory Commission
, Lot 1/9 Task Force (Celebration Plaza)
, Respect Whistler Committee
, Whistler Bar Association
, FCM National Board of Directors
, FCM 2009 Conference Task Force, 
Long Term Financial Planning Task Force.

Through UBCM, I will continue to lobby Victoria to add a municipal portion to the Property Transfer Tax.

As an FCM board member, I sit on the Standing Committee for Municipal Finance and Government Relations. In this role, I will continue to lobby and meet with the federal government to: 1) secure a national transit policy, 2) increase support for local police, 3) commit 1 cent of the GST for municipal infrastructure... and so on.

Over the past three years, I have gained the knowledge, experience and confidence to be an effective team member as we face the challenges and opportunities ahead.

2. Given that revenue from development is declining and the municipality is more dependent on hotel tax revenue at a time of economic uncertainty, how do you propose the municipality balance its budgets the next few years?

I wish I had a silver bullet, but unfortunately in the short term I see little choice to increasing property tax in order to deliver services and maintain our infrastructure.

Whistler’s prosperity is dependent on the community’s ability to attract visitors. Quality infrastructure and services make up a critical part of the Whistler Experience. I believe that failure on the part of the municipality to plan for and provide these services will undermine our community’s success. Blindly cutting back services in the short term may have significant impacts on our success in the long term. Any cuts will need to be thoroughly assessed.

Last year we significantly reduced our contributions to capital reserves — well below our traditional levels to soften the impact of lost revenue from the Class 1/6. We must bring those contributions back to a level consistent with ‘Best Practices’.

3. What other important issues does Whistler face in the next three years?

We must continue to work with local business and the Chamber to find a temporary housing solution that will get us through the Olympics.

We must deliver successful Games, and leverage the exposure of the Games to maximize our opportunities for the future. And it’s not just about delivering the Games; it’s about our economic success.

We must address how we will continue to maintain and deliver the infrastructure and services we need without considerable annual property tax increases.

4. What needs to be done to address those issues?

Temporary housing — leave no stone unturned, don’t give up and never stop talking about it.

Delivering the Games, I have been a strong supporter of hosting the Games from the beginning, and I will continue to do what needs to be done to ensure that Whistler maximizes the opportunities.

Can we be economically sustainable with chronic increases in property tax? No, we must continue to find additional sources of revenue — and creative delivery models.

We must keep fighting to secure additional revenue tools from higher orders of government. It’s not a promise I can make; but as a director of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), I have a significant role in working with other municipalities across the country lobbying the Canadian government for additional revenue tools. I can promise that I will continue those efforts.

I will also continue to lobby Victoria through UBCM to add a municipal portion to the Property Transfer Tax. A portion equal to a 0.5% will generate $3.5 million annually for Whistler.

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