NEWS BULLETIN file photo                                Nanaimo’s new city council has a lot on its plate and it may take time to implement change, suggests letter writer.

NEWS BULLETIN file photo Nanaimo’s new city council has a lot on its plate and it may take time to implement change, suggests letter writer.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Give council time to make change

The excitement about our new city council and the desire for change is palpable, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Let’s vote in a council that sees Nanaimo’s potential, Opinion, Oct. 4.

The excitement in Nanaimo about our new city council and the desire for change is palpable, equal to the disappointment and dissatisfaction with the previous council. The expectations are high, but we’re going to have to cool our heels.

A few weeks before the election I wrote an opinion piece about the potential Nanaimo has and the kind of council we needed to elect in order to realize these opportunities. Well, we did it and, thankfully, our new mayor and council appear to be up to the challenge. Many people think this may be the best council Nanaimo has ever had. Already people are talking excitedly about the changes they want to see happen.

However, change will take time because these new councillors have inherited quite a mess. Over the past few years there’s been an unprecedented loss of senior staff. There are significant financial challenges related to the expenses of the proposed event centre, payouts to former managers, and the failure to approve the budget recommended by staff. There are also human rights issues and at least one pending lawsuit related to improper dismissal. There’s tent city, and the failure to acquire grants for low-barrier housing. There’s the need to restore an effective committee structure and to rebuild staff morale. Those are just some of the things our new council has on its plate.

On the campaign trail all the candidates talked about their vision and the great things that they believed could happen for our downtown, our local economy, affordable housing, accessible transportation, environmental planning, support for arts and culture, the waterfront, and so forth. But they will need to begin by ensuring that experienced and capable city management is in place.

I have my own wish list, but I’m going to wait. I’m prepared to support this council into its second term while feeling confident that they are being ethical, responsible, thoughtful, civil and collaborative in the way they are carrying out their duties.

The changes we need won’t happen overnight. But it’s good to know that, because of the problems we’ve experienced over the past couple of years, we now have a very engaged community of people and we will be watching to make sure that these changes do happen.

Carol Matthews, 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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seventy-four international students are expected to come to Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district for the last half of the 2020021 school year, says the district. (School District 68 image)
Nanaimo school district educating 160 international students during pandemic school year

Fifty-seven students from abroad arrived Jan. 14-18, says SD68

Rendering of two residential buildings proposed for the corner of Haliburton and Milton streets. (Matthew T. Hansen Architect image)
Two five-storey residential buildings approved for Haliburton Street

City council issues development permit for 79-unit complex at Haliburton and Milton

Ty Wesley, Nicole Darlington and Cameron Macaulay (from left) performed in the Beholder Entertainment production <em>Gender Sucks!</em> in the 2020 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. (Video still courtesy Sam Wharram)
Nanaimo Fringe Festival artist lottery open to local and B.C. playwrights

Organizers hope to stage plays in-person at indoor and outdoor venues this summer

Nanaimo RCMP investigated after a threat was made at Woodgrove Centre on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Threat directed at Woodgrove Centre, Nanaimo RCMP investigating

Officers have searched areas of the mall accessible to shoppers and have deemed it safe

(News Bulletin file photo)
Car crashes along the Nanaimo Parkway, driver abandons vehicle

Mazda with ‘extensive damage’ found in the ditch in the early-morning hours Jan. 19

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Updated: Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Inmates at Metchosin’s William Head Institution are being given COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first phase. Around 600 inmates will be vaccinated in the coming days. (Black Press Media file photo)
William Head prison inmates in receive first doses of COVID vaccine

Priority set for older inmates and those with underlying medical conditions

Vancouver Island University. (File photo)
Province announces funding for VIU to train mental health workers

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo
Snow, winter might not be done with Vancouver Island quite yet

Flurries, snow and cold temps predicted for the weekend for mid-Island

The City of Nanaimo’s Community Services Building at 285 Prideaux St., where the 7-10 Club is located, will host a warming centre seven days a week through March 31. (City of Nanaimo photo)
Warming centres for people experiencing homelessness open today in Nanaimo

City of Nanaimo and social agencies partnering on Wallace and Prideaux locations

Egg producers in B.C. aren’t obligated to reveal their production sites. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Officials say there’s not enough Vancouver Island eggs to meet demand

BC Egg Marketing Board doesn’t regulate labelling, supply needed from off-Island

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Most Read