Letters to the editor should be no longer than 250 words and will be edited. Include your address (it won’t be published). E-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Councillors need to be qualified

I hope would-be candidates will ask themselves some tough questions, says letter writer

To the editor,

Nanaimoites are ready for a wholesale change on city council. It’s great to see that so many have expressed an interest in running, but I hope these would-be candidates will ask themselves some tough questions before they throw their hat into the ring this fall.

If you really want to serve the City of Nanaimo, you must ask yourself if you have the qualifications to deliver the kind of public service we need and deserve. While you may have a passion to serve, do you also have the skills?

Municipal politics are not for the faint-hearted; more importantly, they are not for the unqualified. On city council, decisions are made by nine individuals every week that often have a significant impact on the citizens they are there to serve.

Can you manage a $200-million budget wisely and strategically? Do you work collaboratively with others? Can you think outside the box when dealing with complex issues? How well do you understand the impact of development on the social and economic well-being of a neighbourhood, or the need for accountability and integrity in public office?

Nanaimo is growing and strategically placed for the coming decades. We need leadership that recognizes that, and the opportunities and challenges it presents.

Please don’t risk splitting valuable votes if you don’t think you have what it takes. Consider whether your commitment to Nanaimo wouldn’t be better applied to supporting the efforts of a qualified candidate. Vote splitting is not just a concern at the provincial or federal levels of government.

Too many cooks spoil the broth; rather than help ensure that we get the best council possible this fall, a field of 50 candidates could put us all right back in the soup.

Cate Barratt, Nanaimo

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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