Nanaimo City Hall. FILE PHOTO/News Bulletin

Nanaimo city staff provide update on core service review

Prison guard positions axed as a result of core service review

The City of Nanaimo’s core services review response is well underway and changes are being made in various areas.

City staff provided an update to councillors on the progress of a core services review that has been underway since 2016 during a council meeting on Oct. 30.

Tracy Samra, the city’s chief administrative officer, said 11 recommendations have been completed, 31 recommendations are underway and 29 have been scheduled for 2018 and 2019. Samra was pleased by the progress city staff has been making and told councillors the process of implementing many of the changes recommended in the core services review will take another two years.

“We don’t take a look at a city with a couple hundred million dollar budget, hundreds of millions of dollars in capital investments and a range of services that we are providing to 90,000 people and effect change overnight,” she said.

There was no update about how much the city has saved in total as a result of implementing 11 of the more than 70 recommendations. However, during the presentation, senior managers from various departments provided brief updates on the progress.

Brad McRae, the city’s chief operations officer, said four prison guard positions have been axed and gender-neutral guarding is now being implemented. McRae added that individuals impacted by the cuts were reassigned elsewhere.

Victor Mema, chief financial officer, said the city is planning to adopt a multi-year budgeting cycle that will be aligned to a four-year council term, adding that the preparations are being made for the 2019-2023 council term. He said planning for a multi-year term has benefits for councillors and the public alike.

“When strategic planning is put in place, we can actually fully cost that and you can actually tell what your property tax rates, user rates and all that will look like for the four-year term,” he said. “That will actually give, I think, a little bit of certainty for councillors and the public.”

Dale Lindsay, director of community development, said one area of improvement is staff-to-staff communication within the city’s service and resource building.

“In our old building we actually had all our sections on one floor and staff working in close proximity to each other … and we’ve heard some concerns once we moved into the new building about how do we maintain that communication.”

John Elliot, the city’s manager of utilities, said the city has expanded the use of thermal plastics on roads throughout the city, which was one of the recommendations in the report.

“What it does is it creates longevity, so the markings on the road last a lot longer,” he said.

Coun. Gord Fuller said he was very pleased with the progress made by city staff.

“Most communities that did core reviews don’t act on them,” he said. “We’re acting on them. I think staff is doing a great job of acting upon them.”

Coun. Ian Thorpe said while he didn’t agree with all the recommendations in the core services review report, he believed there are a lot of very good recommendations in it and acknowledged that the implementations will take time.

“It’s not something that is going to be accomplished quickly and some people, I am sure, are frustrated that we haven’t moved along quickly but it takes a long time to get it right.”

City staff are planning to provide another core services review update within the next four months.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sound mixer stolen from Nanaimo nightclub

Nanaimo RCMP ask for tips about theft of sound mixer from Koncept Nightclub

Memorial for drug overdose victims on display at St. Paul’s Church in Nanaimo

Flags of Hope Overdose Awareness Display at Chapel Street church until Aug. 29

QB McGarvey steers V.I. Raiders to first win of 2019 season

Raiders blow out Kamloops Broncos in home opener in Nanaimo

Traffic back to normal after accident at Island Highway-Brechin Road in Nanaimo

Accident involved truck and taxi at turn lane leading to Departure Bay ferry terminal

United Way’s denim drive launches at Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre

United by Denim campaign runs from Aug. 17 until Sept. 2

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 15

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Most Read