Ted Nebbeling, candidate for mayor. 

Time for Whistler to get back on track

Name: Ted Nebbeling

Age: 60

Website: www.tednebbeling.com

Occupation: Former businessman

Last book read: The Secret Tapes of Brian Mulroney, by Peter C. Newman

What music are you listening to: Latin, Cuban salsa, Brazilian.

Favourite recreational pursuits: used to ski, outdoor recreation activities.

1. Why are you running for mayor?

I think the community needs leadership. It needs a balanced approach towards the community, the business needs and the environmental needs. I think my experience in Victoria of building consensus with 72 colleagues has taught me to bring some valuable tools to the table as mayor. I think it is time for me to step up to the plate and help Whistler get back on track.

2. What are the biggest issues facing Whistler?

Housing and affordability. I’ve been talking with lots of young family members that are in Whistler. They want this to be the place where they build their family’s future and are quite concerned if indeed they can remain here.

Housing of course is the priority, but also to make this more a place where you can actually do your shopping. That would stop people having to drive to Vancouver to do their shopping as many do now.

The reason that people are not so certain that Whistler is the place where they can build a future is that our economy has gone on the downslide. If there are no jobs, and less disposable income, the cost factor becomes a big thing.

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

The process that applicants have to go through for housing projects have been extremely time consuming. This adds costs to the project, of course, and uncertainty that if even after going through the process the approval would be given for the housing project. (It) has discouraged the private sector to come on board. Projects such as Rainbow and Cheak North have seen long time delays to come to the point of approval.

We have to make sure that future projects that come forward… will be considered in a more expedient way.

As far as affordability is concerned, we’re not just talking about going to a store, although that is an important part. It’s all the other things. It is property taxes, it’s fees for services and it’s use of our amenities. It is the cost of just being part of the community through fees, ice time, room fees.

The cost of living in Whistler is for more people unmanageable and leads to the erosion of the family base that we have here in Whistler and if you add to that the serious concerns about the downslide of our economy, that is the main cause of the affordability and the housing needs.

4. How will Whistler 2020 help us?

I don’t know. I believe there are still two things lacking and I’ve said it before. One of course is that it’s a document consisting of 300 pages. After all the hard work that was done by community members to come up with the document, and I recognize the hard work, my fear is that very few people actually take the time to read it and comprehend it and that it’s going to be something that is lying on the shelf collecting dust. So my first action on 2020 would be to get the members back that participated and give them a mandate to create a two or three page summary that will help people understand it better.

The second part is whenever we do a project incorporating the three core values, we need to know the cost implications of following the sustainability guidelines in the 2020 document. We need to know the cost factor of having that balanced approach… for the environment, the community and the economy.

5. Name three things you expect to accomplish in this council’s term.

I think we will develop a much better relationship with the community by immediately reinstalling the town hall meetings… That is the place where people will talk about what their concerns are and that will become part of the path that we will follow for the next year…. Also we will see a council that is clearly working as a team, focused on issues that the community directs to a certain extent.

As for the Olympics – what an opportunity this is to have the world’s media attention pre-Games and through the proper marketing tools we can entice visitors to come to Whistler that otherwise may not know about our place. So the awareness of Whistler as a resort will be strengthened pre-Games and we must tap into that awareness of our resort to enhance the community, to enhance job opportunities, to enhance job security.

As a council we can, in co-operation with other bodies, be it Tourism Whistler, be it the provincial government, really tap into the value of the exposure that we’re getting worldwide as a resort to stimulate the economy and thereby creating more security for those that work and live in the resort and want this to be their place in the future.

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