Terms drafted for review of City of Nanaimo services

NANAIMO – Consultant expects process to cost more and take longer than originally expected.

Nanaimo city council is one step closer to a core review.

The Core Services Review Steering Committee, made up of politicians, has signed off on a draft request for proposal, scope and goal for the review which is now expected to cost more than $200,000.

The committee agreed Monday to the RFP, with minor tweaks around having a vendor-proposed timeline and separate prices for items in the terms of reference.

The review itself will be of all city services and programs, including those funded by the city, the methods of delivery, costs and revenues.

Roshan Danesh, a consultant hired to work with the core services committee, also pointed that because of the scope of the RFP, he expects it will cost more and take longer than originally estimated – costing more than $200,000 and taking eight to 12 months instead of between four and six.

Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay said the review is going to be very extensive and broad.

“This is probably going to be the largest core review B.C. has ever seen.”

He called the committee’s recent decision to move ahead a big deal, although he said that council still has to carry on with its business.

Some councillors wanted to hold off on recent decisions, such as automating the garbage fleet or in-house parking, to wait for the review.

But McKay said it’s a matter of how an earlier motion to put a hold on staffing and changed services is interpreted. He hopes the core review won’t put the community at a stand still.

Coun. Bill Bestwick said a core services review is council’s No. 1 priority and it’s been “dragging.”

“I am sure everybody would liked to have had this process where we are today about three months ago,” he said, adding it’s taken far too long to get where they are, “but here we are, so let’s keep going.”

He doesn’t think everything needs to be put on hold but points out council said there were certain things they weren’t going to do, namely increase service levels. He hopes spending is kept to a minimum and not add a whole bunch of stuff that the core review may recommend taking out.

The RFP is expected to go to council Oct. 19.