‘Core Review’: Code for an Attack on Public Service Workers?

Ron Bolin: Nov. 19, 2010

At the Special Meeting of Council held Monday, 2010-NOV-01, Councillor Jim Kipp put forward the following Notices of Motion: 1) “That Council direct Staff to start the process of a core service review.”  And 2)  “That Council direct Staff to report on the process of a zero based budget.”  At the Council meeting of Nov. 8, these motions were put forward and passed.

On Nov. 9, Derek Spalding in the Daily News reported the success of Councillor Kipp’s motions.

On Friday, Nov. 12, Diane Brennan in her biweekly column in the Daily News wrote that a “‘Core review’ is code for privatization”.    As evidence of the danger of such a move, she puts forward the core review done for Penticton:  here , and here

Recent stories in the Penticton Western News: , appears to play to Ms. Brennan’s alarm.  But do they?

Many, if not all, successful businesses perform core reviews internally on a regular basis and, I believe, the City of Nanaimo is no exception.  They also from time to time institute reviews from outsiders, recognizing that the world is a large and rapidly changing place.  This is the kind of review being proposed.  The idea that somehow, somewhere in the wide world there might be ideas which could benefit Nanaimo’s taxpayers seems foreign to Ms. Brennan.  Having worked in some of the better organized societies in the world -as well as some most charitably  described as less so- I have learned that there are a lot of good ideas and unbiased eyes out there from which we can learn.

The story here rests on the integrity of Council and whether their motivation, as Ms. Brennan implies, is simply to root out public service workers, or indeed as they profess, to do their best to manage the $60+ millions of tax dollars which they take from Nanaimo property tax payers and the $130+ million budget which they manage on our behalf each and every year.  Your views on this situation are welcomed.