town hall meeting 

There are all kinds more reasons to go to Saturday’s fourth annual town hall meeting than there were to go to the first three. To start with, the municipality is offering free transit to the meeting at Myrtle Philip school, free child care and a free lunch to those who participate in both the morning and afternoon sessions. But the real incentive to attend the Dec. 13 meeting is to have a say in Whistler’s future. The meeting begins with an open house from 9 to 10 a.m. where the six scenarios for a transportation master plan will be available for viewing. This plan in itself will play a major role in determining what Whistler looks like in the future. Between 10 and 11 a.m. is Mayor Hugh O’Reilly’s introduction, a presentation by staff of the results of this year’s monitoring program and the keynote presentation by resort consultant Myles Rademan of Park City, Utah. Rademan, who has visited Whistler many times over the years and watched it grow, is one of the most quotable mountain resort prophets and an entertaining speaker. At 11 a.m. the first session on the municipality’s Whistler 2002 visioning process gets underway. The process is intended to be "a shared vision of the future." For the past 11 months council and senior staff have been formulating ideas about where Whistler should be in the year 2002. The results are incorporated into a workbook subtitled Charting A Course For The Future, available at municipal hall. However, the workbook is not the final product. "It’s truly a discussion paper, designed to solicit community input," administrator Jim Godfrey says. "We hope the final project will be much better, and be supported by the community." The town hall meeting isn’t the only opportunity to participate in this visioning process. Presentations will be made to various groups in the community, and perhaps even to second homeowners in Vancouver. Workbooks may be returned to municipal hall for the next month or so. Results will be compiled and then verified against public opinion through a telephone survey. The final document will become a business plan for the community for the next five years — a period during which Whistler will likely reach buildout. At the same time the year-round population of Whistler is expected to increase. Those factors alone hold huge financial consequences for the municipality. Dealing with those issues, as well as transportation, environmental sustainability and making Whistler the "premier four-season mountain resort community in the world" are what the Whistler 2002 workbook and Saturday’s town hall meeting are all about.

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