In the Matter of the Core Review

Mayor Ruttan, Councillors, Staff, Citizens:

In the matter of the Core Services Review concerning which Council’s direction is sought this evening, I ask that you recommend option D, i.e. the Penticton model.  You may recall that Penticton chose this option as it was felt that it was needed to assess an increasingly difficult financial situation.  Similarly, in Nanaimo, the burden of projects and works, particularly the tens of millions of dollars recommended for additional water capacity and the huge identified needs for asset additions and maintenance in general, when added on top of the significant tax increases of the past few years puts both Nanaimo’s and its taxpayers’  fiscal future in potential jeopardy.

The Penticton option offers several advantages which I feel can best serve the objectives of all involved at this time.  Among these are:

1.       It provides a discrete and specific set of objectives relating to efficiency and effectiveness which can be identified and could, I believe, be met in a time frame permitting results prior to the Nov. 2011 election.  This would permit voters to express their wishes regarding the resulting recommendations.  The delays inherent in the alternative options will leave Nanaimo voters out of the loop entirely.

2.       It would provide a realistic financial basis for any subsequent visioning which a new Council may wish to carry out in their new term.

3.       It requires the least amount of Staff time of the options on offer and at the same time permits the City Manager to carry forward, within broad limits, the existing organizational planning initiatives which he has in progress.

4.       It offers City management the opportunity to review programs through independent eyes and to perhaps find support for changes which have been felt to needed but are internally difficult due to history and/or internal inertia.

5.       I believe it to be the least expensive of the options and its commitment is finite. Other options appear to be very open in nature.  Nor is it clear that some of the problems which those options seem to be designed to address are currently beyond either this or a new Council elected this November or our current Staff.  If it turns out that further work in these areas is required, it can be obtained at that time.

I ask that in your decision making this evening you carefully consider the objectives which can realistically be met in a single study, the effective time frame in which it can be performed and that you  not shut the voters and taxpayers of Nanaimo effectively out of the process.

Thank you for your consideration.

Ron Bolin