City council dysfunction was hard on Nanaimo, including for those sitting around the table, but Ian Thorpe has decided that nevertheless, he wants to be part of the next council.
The incumbent councillor is running for re-election next month.
“Although the last four years was a challenge and there was difficulties, I’m expecting that there’s going to be a change after the election in the dynamics of council and I’d like to be part of a new group that moves our city forward,” Thorpe said. “Assuming that there will be some new faces around the table, I think I can offer a voice of experience.”
Thorpe said there were some personal issues around the council table the last four years that prevented the group from moving business ahead and hindered the city’s ability to make progress on some issues.
“All I could do was try and be true to my values and be a voice of reason and moderation when I could and not get drawn into the personal animosities that existed,” said Thorpe.
He said some of the challenges of this past term “took a toll” and caused him to have to put a lot of thought into a decision to remain in politics.
“There were some very difficult time periods and meetings that were very unpleasant,” Thorpe said. “I guess I’m trying not to dwell on that, because I know it doesn’t have to be that way and it shouldn’t be that way and I’m really confident that it won’t be that way in the future.”
He said he recognizes that if he’s re-elected with different peers on council, there will still be disagreements, but he thinks councillors will be able to maintain decorum and deal with issues, not with personalities.
“We’re sort of at a crossroads now where we’ve got a chance to reset and hopefully put together a team that can work collaboratively and if they don’t agree, that’s fine, but at least be able to work toward common goals around the table and move some of these projects forward,” Thorpe said.
He said downtown revitalization remains a priority for him and he thinks the work being done and the projects that are on the go have the city on the right path on that front.
The retired teacher and News Bulletin sports columnist also favours enhancing sport, recreation and cultural facilities while being responsible with tax dollars.
Thorpe said if a new city council has a lot of first-time members, he would be able to be a mentor as far as procedures and rules of order. He hopes to have that chance at a time when he senses citizens want a new council.
“I understand the sentiment of sweeping out a council that people are not happy with and if that happens, it happens…” said Thorpe. “I think in fairness, you have to look at each individual candidate, see what they have to offer and make, hopefully, wise decisions.”
To read interviews with other local government election candidates, click here.