To the editor,
October marks two years since this council was elected. Like most Nanaimoites, I had high hopes after the national embarrassing chaos of the previous council. Two years on, what a disappointment.
Homelessness continues to increase, even with some action (all initiated by the province); crime continues to increase; bylaw enforcement is largely non-existent; private citizens are increasingly forced to deal with crime and anti-social behaviour on their own.
The swathes of the city that looked post-industrial in 2018 are unchanged. To the many derelict properties have been added an increasing number of ‘for lease’ signs as the hospitality sector implodes.
Issues many of these councillors ran on – safer pedestrian infrastructure, a more business-friendly environment, the waterfront walkway, more transparency – remain ignored, and in the latter case, is worse than before.
But this council has been happy to increase property taxes 2.5 times above rate of inflation as it has spent $3 million on external ‘management consulting’ and over $1 million on legal fees.
When COVID hit, the biggest crisis in generations, it was finally this council’s chance to shine. While governments of all political stripes acted vigorously, the sum total of council’s response was three porta potties for the homeless, a few restaurant patios on the street (fees not waived, unlike most B.C. cities), and yet another task force (accomplishments to date: zero).
It’s good the soap opera at city hall ended in 2018. What we need now is action.
John Dacombe, Nanaimo
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