City mulls contracting election services

In a effort to cut costs, city council is considering contracting out municipal general election services.

In a effort to cut costs, city council is considering contracting out municipal general election services.

The city has put out a request for information to determine the feasibility of another party conducting the Nov. 19 election.

Joan Harrison, manager of legislative services and chief electoral officer for the March 26 byelection and 2008 general election, said the idea is still in the discussion stage.

“It came about through discussions at city hall. It’s something to think about,” she said. “It’s not actually a [request for proposal], it’s just seeing if there is somebody out there who is willing to do this.”

Mayor John Ruttan said council recognizes the taxpayers are calling for cost-cutting measures, and this is one avenue to see whether there is an opportunity to produce any savings.

“We want to make sure we’re going to save not only in dollar costs, but also the massive time commitment of our own staff in legislative services,” he said. “I know when we went through the byelection, we had a huge staff commitment. They were going flat out for about three months.”

The March 26 byelection cost the city about $100,000 and the 2008 general election came in at $148,140, with $37,000 contributed by the Nanaimo school district.

Ruttan said he would agree to contracting out the election, as long as there is a supporting business case for it.

“It would be wrong to go willy-nilly into an agreement without making sure that it’s something we aren’t able to handle ourselves as efficiently or more efficiently,” he said. “If we can’t save money, then we’re not going to do it.”

Harrison said there could be a number of variations of how the idea plays out.

“It could be the chief elections officer is a city employee and the deputy under contract, or vice versa. It could be all under contract or we could decide not to pursue it,” she said. “Certainly, the city would be very much involved in the process, but the relationship could change, partly depending on the background of someone who could potentially come forward.”

The City of Nanaimo contracted out its returning officer election duties in the mid-1980s when municipal elections were on two year terms.

Deadline for the information proposals is April 21.



Just Posted

VIU theatre department debuts instructor’s original new musical, ‘SlugFest’

Writer and director Ross Desprez created the musical with his students

Parties make last push to try to win Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding

Greens, Conservatives, NDP and other parties focus on getting out the vote Oct. 21

One person hurt in crash at busy Nanaimo intersection

Minivan, sport utility vehicle collide at old Island Highway, Bowen Road and Norwell Drive

UPDATE: Man who was missing has been located

Search and rescue teams, RCMP were involved in search in south Nanaimo

Suspect hits woman with pipe, jumps into waiting truck in downtown Nanaimo

RCMP asking for help from any motorists who might have dashcam footage from Oct. 12

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

Everything you need to know before getting the flu shot

Island pharmacist shares concerns, recommendations before flu season hits

‘Sky didn’t fall:’ Police, lawyers still adjusting after pot legalization

Statistics Canada says 541 people were charged under the federal Cannabis Act between Oct. 17, 2018 and the end of the year

Fewer people prescribed opioids in B.C., but other provinces lack data: doctors

Patients who began taking opioids were prescribed smaller doses for shorter duration

Electric cello, stolen from vehicle in Williams Lake, returned to U.S. owner

Rita Rice of Texas said she and her husband had given up hope of ever seeing it again

Vancouver Island’s West Coast going wild about cycling

Ongoing project will tie Tofino and Ucluelet together with a paved cycling trail

Drop, cover and hold on: Thousands of British Columbians to take part in earthquake drill

This year’s drill comes as scientists announce discovery of ‘stormquakes,’ an earthquake and hurricane

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Most Read