Occupation: Sales representative
Years in Nanaimo: Lived here 2005-2007 and returned in 2009.
Action on economic development. It is imperative to expand our local economy, attract business migration, increase employment opportunities and add to a productive population base. We have a new Economic Development Strategy, a commission made up of energetic local citizens, a staffed office at city hall but little progress to show for it all. If there is a plan, as we hear from spotty news in local media, why should it be such a secret? We need to market ourselves to the world to get Nanaimo working now. I would work towards the speedy launch of a business outreach plan with participation from all sectors of the community.
Occupation: Civil Engineering Technologist
Years in Nanaimo: Since 1960
The City of Nanaimo has a huge infrastructure deficit. This cannot be overcome by simply increasing property taxes at a rate which is not sustainable. Like many municipal governments in North America, Nanaimo relied heavily on taxes paid on large commercial and industrial properties. Nanaimo has been hit hard by the decline of the forestry industry along with the relocation of other commercial ventures to locations with less regulations and a more realistic tax structure. While tourism is great, there are only a few tourism related positions in Nanaimo that pay as much as a person working on a “Green Chain” could make. Nanaimo must support tourism, but also shift the tax burden away from industrial properties so as to attract other new and environmentally sustainable businesses.
Years in Nanaimo: Since 1969 – Relocated here in 2004
Studies show that we may well lose businesses in our communities as their owners retire. In addition our climate, amenities, and house pricing makes us a desirable place for boomers from across Canada to relocate and retire. While this brings new people to town, businesses will close and the median family incomes will go down. This will bring added pressure on our tax base and the ability of families to pay more. We need new economic development opportunities and a broader tax base. The importance to increase city revenues, reduce expenses, and explore new opportunities will become even more paramount. Tax control will be the watchword.
Occupation: Retired Nanaimo Professional Firefighter
Years in Nanaimo: 31
I have been speaking to many people during my campaign. Various groups or neighbourhoods are concerned with homelessness, the cell tower, the new development bylaw and the Green Lake sewer issue and so on. That is why it is very difficult to choose the one most important issue. The challenge will be to grow sustainably as a community and remain a great place to live and work.
Occupation: Energy advisor
Years in Nanaimo: 14
How to meet our needs while making the city affordable to its residents. Instead of cutting services or increasing taxes – both poor options – how can we creatively take care of the growing needs in our city while making Nanaimo more affordable? I believe this is doable and I have concrete proposals to make it happen.
Occupation: Consultant, Community and Business Development.
Years in Nanaimo: 7
Affordable housing, as this is how communities are built.