Arm’s-length organizations haunt city

You know what should “scare us?” All the arms-length alphabet-soup organizations that get money from the city.

To the Editor,

Re: NEDC turmoil should scare us, Editorial, Oct. 27.

You know what should “scare us?” All the arms-length alphabet-soup organizations that get money from the city then tell us to take a hike when we question their (mis)management.

For four of its six years in existence, the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation has overspent its budget. So, like a spoiled child who constantly disses the parents, there is only one thing to do, disband the whole lot of them.

City hoteliers have appeared before council citing there is no combined destination marketing plan between the economic development corporation, Vancouver Island Conference Centre or the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association, all getting heavy taxpayer funding.

So, what is truly haunting city taxpayers? Not giving these runaway organizations a firm spanking and getting rid of them. The time is now, before the ghosts of years past keep spending us into the poor house.

George OliverNanaimo


To the Editor,

Re: Economic Development CEO fired, Oct. 27.

What is it going to take to get Nanaimo back to the good old days? For example, 2005, when Malaspina University-College and the City of Nanaimo’s Downtown Partnership won an Innovation Award from the B.C. Centre for International Education. Another example, 2012, when our city won its second provincial planning award in four years. Or 2013 when the city captured the Spirit of Innovation Award for best technology from the Municipal Information Systems Association of B.C.

All of these awards were the result of co-operation and communication between city government and institutions. Fast forward to 2016; what’s the award going to be for the slash-and-burn strategy at NEDC? First, cut off the tourism portfolio with no warning or discussion, leading to the firing of the CEO when he complains about it. Add to this last week, when a councillor told the mayor to “bite me” in public.

This is award-winning stuff all right, right up there with the Keystone Kops and Howard Stern.

​John HarrisNanaimo