A former city councillor in Australia would now like to join the city council in Nanaimo.
Nick Greer is one of 29 candidates trying for a council seat in the Oct. 15 municipal election.
Greer, 47, a lawyer and mediator who runs an office downtown, is running on a platform of downtown renewal and lower spending. He’s got experience working on those sorts of priorities from the seven years he spent on Mitcham council in South Australia between 2010-17.
Greer is proud of his work on that council in “leading redevelopment and renewal” of the city centre of Blackwood, and said it may be “actually easier” to revitalize Nanaimo’s downtown with its beautiful harbour and “untapped, unrealized” potential. With most of the downtown privately owned, the city’s role, said Greer, should be “catalyst” investment.
“We’ll cover $1 of the funds to renew the downtown area or an area that needs renewal, with an aim to try to get $10 back from the private sector,” he said.
Greer’s other main platform in his campaign is to try to get a handle on city spending and taxation, which he said is “getting out of control.” He said he knows council balance sheets and has a few strategies in mind. He’d like to trim middle management by attrition, as he said it’s a recurring expenditure that needs consideration at budget time. He suggests reviewing staff positions after someone retires or resigns, which was something done in Mitcham.
“It sounds like a bit of a technical or boring thing to do, but it had a dramatic impact on expenditures in the city,” Greer said.
He also criticized current councillors for their personal expenses, as high as $10,000 annually, and said he’s challenged them to try to make do on $1,500 a year.
Greer said citizens are ready for changes to council, as he thinks the current group’s “naive” decisions have led to taxation that is making things hard on taxpayers.
“Taxes have increased dramatically … during the current term of council and so the residents are upset about those taxation increases,” he said. “That comes from a council that’s been irresponsible with the budget and irresponsible even with their own personal expense accounts.”
For more information, visit http://nick4nanaimo.ca.
Anyone running for mayor or councillor in the City of Nanaimo or the District of Lantzville, regional director in the Regional District of Nanaimo’s Area A, B, C or E, or school trustee in School District 68 is asked to contact the Nanaimo News Bulletin to set up an interview or invite us to a campaign launch event. Phone Greg Sakaki at 250-734-4621 or e-mail email@example.com.