Frequently Asked Questions
Because city council has control over services that directly affect your day-to-day life: water, sewer, garbage, road construction, policing, firefighting, public transit, residential/commercial/industrial development, social and economic development, parks, taxes and more.
Selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership; an interest in, knowledge of, and commitment to the community; a solid grasp of the role and responsibilities of councillors and staff; a commitment to due process; and an ability to comprehend complex issues and consider creative solutions.
Respect for their colleagues on council; the ability for all councillors to participate and express their views in council discussions; a strong commitment to work together for the betterment of the community; and strong, effective leadership from the mayor.
A lack of understanding about roles and responsibilities of council members; a lack of trust between elected officials and staff; lack of consequences or repercussions for questionable behaviour by both council members and senior city staff; and personal or partisan political agendas.
Do your research, ask questions, and assess the candidates rigorously. Remember, the mayor and council are responsible for running a multi-million dollar corporation with close to 1,000 employees. Your community will be in their hands for the next four years, so vote wisely.
OurNanaimo sees three initial goals:
- Holding city hall accountable for good governance
- Better city planning; and
- Getting ready for Election 2018.
The event centre debacle revealed many weaknesses in the strategic planning function of our city. For OurNanaimo, better city planning means strategic, socially progressive, environmentally sustainable planning, encompassing fiscal prudence, and smart economic development.
- It means real community consultation.
- It means respect for the SFN by endorsing government-to-government working relations.
- It means moving forward with the development of the south downtown waterfront.
- It means investing in our children and our future.
If there is something that most Nanaimoites agree on, it’s that we have a dysfunctional city hall. Creating something better requires speaking up and getting involved. NoVote2017 sparked an interest in our city on multiple levels, and showed that a few concerned citizens could have a big impact. Our council spent about $1M of our taxes to try to convince us to vote yes to a WHL arena. With a few thousand dollars in small donations and the hard work of so many of our fellow Nanaimo citizens, we defeated them 80% to 20%. THAT is holding city hall accountable for good governance.
Good governance is not just about holding city hall accountable. It is also about ensuring we have knowledgeable, skillful, insightful, ethical, respectful and committed candidates on the ballot. Nanaimo deserves better governance and a high performing council. To get a good council, we need better choices. It is not enough to just care about our city – we all care about our city. It is not enough to have been a good citizen, coached kids in hockey or supported charities – these matter, but elected office is a serious and difficult job. And it requires more than just commitment, it requires specific knowledge and skills and professionalism. It’s time to demand the best for our city.
That is one of the things we need to determine as a city. But there are some baselines. Councillors should:
- Be respectful, honest, ethical and collaborative;
- Govern on the platform they campaigned on;
- Do what is best for their city, not what serves their own interests.
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In case you have not found any answers here or you have more inquiries to ask, please feel free to drop us a message and we will contact you back very soon.