An incumbent city councillor and the chairperson of the Regional District of Nanaimo is running for re-election.
Coun. Tyler Brown is one of eight current members of Nanaimo city council trying for another term as voters get ready to cast their ballots Oct. 15.
Brown said he takes the decision about running for re-election seriously.
“It came down to where I see the city going, do I feel like I could [make] a positive contribution in that direction,” he said. “We know we have challenges, and can I be a positive force in helping us address that?”
Asked whether voters in Nanaimo are looking for change in civic leadership, Brown said citizens are well aware of the issues and while they might not agree on solutions, they want councillors who will work to make change.
“People are really wanting leaders that are going to seek solutions and just essentially understand that we cannot wait for change, we have to be active participants in that,” he said.
Nanaimo’s next council will work on an action plan to accompany the new Reimagine Nanaimo city plan. Brown said the city won’t be able to implement everything, certainly not all at once, but he hopes for immediate focus on “housing affordability, providing shelter spaces and a more comprehensive and holistic approach to how we’re seeing housing and development occur in the city.” That could include working with partners on social housing, removing regulatory and process barriers to getting homes built, and city-led re-zoning in line with the city plan to help developers build more quickly.
On taxes and spending, Brown said he will continue to push for outcomes-based budgeting, which he described as a system that allocates Nanaimo’s “very scarce resources” to outcomes that the city wants to see each year, being “very intentional” in where dollars are directed.
“And if there [are] items that are just sort of legacy items, well then they’re going to be up for question and potentially removed,” he said.
Campaigning as an incumbent is a little different than when he was campaigning for the first time four years ago, said Brown. Conversations with people are now framed around his work on council and on the regional district board over the past term, and that means that while he can talk about accomplishments, people can also call him out decisions they didn’t agree with.
He hopes citizens continue to be engaged and take the time to look over candidates’ platforms and promises.
“I really have tried to develop actual policy positions and actions for the city, not just platitudes and easy talking points,” he said.
For more information, visit www.tylerjbrown.ca.