He can be counted on to ask questions at council meeting, and he hopes to continue that dialogue from a seat at the council table.
Bill Manners announced recently that he’s running for Nanaimo city council in next month’s municipal election.
“I made the decision to run for city council because I believe I can do the job that the people are expecting,” Manners said.
He’s a member of the city’s community engagement task force and he said he feels the committee had the right mandate put forward by the city’s former communications manager, but said it’s “sort of fallen off the rails” at a time when community engagement and communication are needed.
“The communication lacks between the councillors that we’ve had … and it’s something that we need to improve on,” Manners said. “I have ways of improving it and ideas that I think, with a cohesive council, would open the doors to better communication.”
One of his platform planks is a re-dedication to the core review. He liked some aspects of the initial report, including a centralized purchasing system, but said “nothing has happened” with the core review in the last year.
“A lot of things are stagnant and it needs to be brought on board and we can only bring it back on board if we have enough staff. We have to hire to fill the holes,” he said.
Manners, who works at a sporting goods store, said as a councillor he would prioritize economic development, adding that it’s important that Nanaimo has the sort of job opportunities that can attract and retain people.
“Right now there’s lots of jobs in Nanaimo that pay minimum wage, but I’ll tell you, working  hours a week, getting paid minimum wage does not support two people,” he said.
On housing, Manners said he recognizes the need for another facility like the Uplands Walk supportive housing complex in north Nanaimo, but said, “I don’t feel that the City of Nanaimo should be getting too involved in issues that are handled by the province.”
Manners was a co-founder and chairman of the No Vote 2017 Society opposing a sports and events centre on the south downtown waterfront, and he said in a crowded field of council candidates, his name is “pretty prominent” as a city watcher. He’ll continue to have coffee with voters, knock on doors and looks forward to debating and campaigning.
“I want people to know that I’m a person that’s concerned about the taxpayers’ money. I want people to know that I’m concerned about the communication,” he said.
To read interviews with other local government election candidates, click here.