Name: Wendy Pratt
Occupation/background: Executive director, Nanaimo Community Hospice Society
Why are you running for public office?
I love Nanaimo and am concerned about the negativity and mistrust towards city hall. I want to see this city prosper and grow and become a place we can all be proud of. I have enjoyed making a difference in my community over the past 15 years and see the role of city councilor as the next step in service I have a proven track record of assessing community needs and initiating positive change. I have the skills, the commitment and the energy to take this on.
What three priorities are important to you and how do you plan to tackle these issues, if elected?
Fiscal responsibility – Rising taxes are of great concern and with good reason. We must regain control over spending that directly affects the rise and fall of taxes.
Community engagement – Many have lost trust in city hall. The only way to regain that trust is through effective community engagement, transparency and accountability. Whether we agree with someone or not, everyone has the right to be heard and should be respected for their willingness to engage. Decision making that directly affects all citizens should not be made behind closed doors.
Accountability – City hall must be responsible and answerable for their actions. When considering important issues we must weigh all sides, do our research, and in the end rely on evidence-based decision making that meets the goals set out in the strategic plan. The present plan is the product of past community engagement, and exists to inform the direction and decision making of city council and city staff. Perhaps it’s time to revisit our community plan.
How do you plan to manage taxes and spending?
I understand the importance of fiscal responsibility. If we ran our households the way the city runs its finances, we would all be bankrupt. The city must spend within our means to remain financially viable. Spending should be based on the priorities set out in the strategic plan and should not create an undue tax burden. Last-minute agenda items that require a vote on major funding should not be allowed.
What do you think it takes to lead Nanaimo?
A strong leader builds on the success of others and can transform vision into reality. They motivate and inspire others. They capitalize on the resources available, and have the skills and the knowledge to get things done. They understand governance and work collaboratively with all sectors: the public, city staff, government, and fellow city councillors.
Describe your leadership or co-working style.
My leadership style is one of trust, collaboration and consensus. It’s important to listen and understand the needs of those we serve as well as those we are working with. Evidence based decision making is an important factor in bringing credibility to any process where important decisions affect the lives of people in our community.