123 more days til E-Day

Ron Bolin: July 19,2011

Thus far on our electoral journey we have perhaps produced some heat, but, as some of our commenters have pointed out, relatively little light.  Perhaps we need to try a different tack, moving on from what we don’t like to what we would like to see done if we could elect people who would do them.  We have already had some suggestions, mostly based on holding the line on taxes.  This may be difficult given that it looks like the present Council will pass about $70 million in new projects just before the November election leaving the next Council to deal with the consequences.  If this is correct, savings may be hard to find, but that will be part of the job.  And perhaps there are new expenditures which you feel are necessary.

One place to look for saving is in the report presented to Council on June 13 of this year which provides a list of proposed new City buildings and upgrades to existing facilities.  This report can be found at:


(See p. 158 in the pdf file or on paper page 153.)  This report identifies some $120 million in programs for construction, including 15.7 million for the City Hall annex and $58.7 million for the new Water Treatment plant.  It does not identify the undisclosed expenditure of the Emergency Water deal with Harmac, which will cost around $5 million.  Nor are maintenance figures given for any of these facilities

I will start the ball rolling with a plank to cancel or delay the development of a concession building in Maffeo Sutton Park scheduled for 2012.  I have yet to see anyone who objects to the concession wagons that serve the park now or are overly concerned with the washrooms.  Why spend $1.5 million on this?

Please do not feel that planks are limited to the area of finance.  Certainly planning, staffing, services, governance, etc.  are equally open for planking.

Let’s see what kinds of planks we can come up with and wrangle a bit about whether they are solid or rest on clay.  Are these projects, services, staffing or planning concepts needed or just wanted?  Let’s treat them as if we were spending our own money, as in all truth we are.  Send in those comments and let’s see if we can build a platform worthy of consideration.


PS:  As a side interest you may wish to take a look at the information given to possible municipal candidates in Yakima, Washington, a city of approximately the same size as Nanaimo.  See: