Letters to the editor 

‘Nice’ if we could afford it

Something has snapped. No letters to Pique or council since I moved here, but now two in as many weeks.

Perhaps I'm confused, but I thought we were broke? Seems to me I remember reading something about that and council having some small problems with the budget and our small property tax increase (yes...that's sarcasm).

I just don't understand how we can't show more fiscal restraint. Currently we have at least three expensive projects that are, as far as I can tell, in the "Nice to Have" column. The $1 million (plus unknown operating costs) upgrade to Meadow Park, $300,000 to pave Lot 4 and the $150,000 debacle of removing the median on Blackcomb Way (and let's not forget at least $200,000 to replace it). That's over $1.65 million of money that we don't need to spend now.

Don't get me wrong, I think at least one of these (the Meadow Park upgrade) perhaps is worthwhile, but when we have the money.

I had naively assumed that when council looked at our budget and our 20+ per cent property increase they would look at all "Nice to Have" projects and schedule them out to match our income stream.

Now, to add insult to injury, I read that the RMOW staff costs increased 12.8 per cent in 2008 (sugar coat all you want about pay increase versus "soft" increases, but it's still 12.8 per cent) and we now have another 3.5 per cent this year, 4 per cent next year and 4 per cent in 2011! How can this in any way, shape, or form be construed as fiscally responsible?

I've run many large groups and when your income drops you compensate by reducing costs and head count and eliminate all "Nice to Have" projects.

And you can do this all without ruining the customer experience... it's done everyday in many successful companies. Nice to do... no. But hard times call for hard decisions. This is the single largest financial downturn in decades and yet we are spending money like there is no tomorrow. Well if we don't stop there won't be a tomorrow.

Rick Doucette


When the dam breaks

In his opening remarks Bob wrote about how the visa requirements will diminish Mexican tourist visits to Whistler. On the opposing page there is a declaration of war against pay parking. In the letters Harvey Lim and Greg Diamond rant against the sheer lunacy of removing the beautiful median on Blackcomb way. Erin McCann wrote she's "had enough." Alex Wilde wanted "something for us." Linda McGraw and D.W Buchanan lamented the dreadful service in Whistler.


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