A longtime RCMP officer has seen Nanaimo for better and for worse, and now wants to be one of the leaders who determine where the city goes from here.
Norm Smith, a retired corporal, is putting his hat in the ring again for city council. He ran in the civic election four years ago, too, and finished 10th out of the 40 candidates. He said he may have been too cocky as he thought being voted to council was pretty much a sure thing.
“Everybody was going, ‘Norm, you’ve got it, you’ve got it,’ and I just kind of let it go,” he said. “This time there’s no letting it go, there’s no backing down.”
He said he’ll have better campaign strategy this time; for example, he’ll do more door-knocking in high-voter-turnout neighbourhoods. He also feels like some of the issues he wants to talk about during the campaign align with what matters to voters, things like policing, fire protection, water, sewer, roads and sidewalks. He wants to bring common-sense order to city decisions: fix the potholes, then plant trees on the boulevard; make the parks safe, then invest in park improvements; address social disorder, then revitalize downtown.
He said his policing career, which included 25 years in Nanaimo, gives him a good understanding of some of the problems on Nanaimo’s streets. He said he can help the council bring ideas to the Union of B.C. Municipalities and then the province to try to deal with social issues.
“If we band together with all the other cities, we may be able to get some change going,” he said. “But we have to be able to give them rational ideas.”
He wants to be a city councillor because he feels it’s a way for him to be able to be part of the community activities he’s always loved, while also supporting the city and giving back in new ways.
“I joke with people – I don’t want statues made of me or anything else. I don’t have vanity projects on the go. My vanity project is fix the pothole or fix the water leak or make sure that we don’t have ice again all winter long,” he said.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/normsmithforcitycouncil.
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.