This week's letters 

Mostly about the money

I was astonished to read that the RMOW has decided to charge for parking in lots 1-5 AND to raise the rates.

Jobs are harder to come by than ever in this town (ask anyone). The economy is grim and people have to choose to visit Whistler.

A $13.50 parking fee for day-trippers means less money to spend and is a mighty poor welcome to Whistler. Downtown prices to park in a large (empty) lot.

Sit back and watch what happens to village businesses. The mantra of the RMOW appears to be: find more revenue.

Fire protection is usually not revenue producing, but if we want to have a fire pit in our yard, we now have to pay $60 to have an inspection.

Want to take a peek at your house plans or permits on file in the Muni Hall? That would now be another $60 or so.

Nickel and diming us all to death is a dead-end policy. Once every possible fee has been charged, what's next?

Whistler has a huge tax base compared to most communities its size. We have to accommodate and please large numbers of visitors and that requires extra funds, but if we cannot manage to live within our taxed means, there is something seriously wrong.

Living with what we have means prioritizing what is really important to us and making sure these things are funded. We all know what those things are: Valley Trail, parks, Meadow Park Rec Centre, village maintenance, library: all used by hundreds of people every day.

Add police and fire protection, infrastructure and mix well.

No new projects: let's just do a decent job with what we have. Cut out the consultants from afar, like the one who came up with the parking policy. New grants for new projects? Time to look a gift horse in the mouth and say, thanks, but no thanks. Funds from other sources still often require a financial commitment from the RMOW.

As for parking, most people would probably accept pay parking for a smaller fee in lots 1-5. Perhaps $1 per hour, $5 per day, and a $20/month local's fee. Then maybe someone would actually park in the lots.

If this had been done to start with, parking revenue would probably have been higher. I'd wager that most of the parking income last year was from the meters inside the village itself (because it surely wasn't from those six cars in Lot 1).

Now, the RMOW is going to force the issue: no parking unless we all pay too much for anyone's liking. The result: a whole bunch of resentful people, visitors included.


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