Any notion that Beban Pool would be closed three months a year has been put to rest.
Nanaimo city councillors, at their first-ever governance and priorities committee meeting Monday, removed 10 items from a 2016 core services review.
The most noteworthy item to be removed was the Beban Pool extended closure suggestion, which faced community pushback when it was first made public.
Mayor Leonard Krog said he was thankful that no action had been taken on that particular core review recommendation and Coun. Zeni Maartman made the motion to strike it from the books.
“I personally could never view shutting down Beban Pool for three months out of the year,” she said.
Richard Harding, director of parks and recreation, advised councillors that “every year we have more use of our facilities as our community grows. Ten years ago, we may have had a different decision on this.”
Also of note, council removed closure of Departure Bay Activity Centre from the core services review because that building’s future will be considered in an upcoming facilities master plan.
Council looked over a list of 74 core services review recommendations at Monday’s meeting. City clerk Sheila Gurrie said 29 items were considered complete, 34 were in progress and 11 were yet to begin. She said it would be nice for staff to have council direction on some of the “political” decisions.
Jake Rudolph, chief administrative officer, said in a way, the city is always reviewing its core services, identifying strengths, competencies and potential bottlenecks.
“The whole operation is continually under review…” Rudolph said. “[There are] business plans in support of the budget and I think that we’re going to continue to drill down on that and align the work and programs with the strategic plan. That’s just good governance and procedure.”
Most of Monday’s discussion was around removing items from the core review, but councillors identified a few that they liked. Councillors would still be interested in a policy on sponsorships, partnerships and naming rights, for example, and would like more well-defined targets and measurables on certain city functions to help inform appropriate staffing levels.
City staff will continue to work on ‘in progress’ items in the core review, adding that many fall under other planning such as the facilities master plan and a finance policy update. However, the core services review document will not be revisited.
“We will not be bringing this back to you,” Rudolph said. “We will be doing it through the … strategic plan and other directives you’re giving us, which may overlap with some of this.”