Oh What a Day it Was!
Ron Bolin: Nov. 16, 2014
Election Day in Nanaimo, Nov. 15, 2014, led to the following Council results:
- 6 of 9 on Council are new.
- Mayor (one of the 9 above) is new.
- 5 of the 9 have not been elected to public office previously, but some have had related experience.
- 4 out of the 9, including the Mayor, couldn’t get past an AAP (Alternative Approval Process) which would require 10% of eligible voters (6867) to pass.
- In theory we should get tighter controls on the budget (But who knows… We’ve heard that song before.)
- In theory we should get more transparency and public participation (But who knows… We’ve heard that song before.)
I can’t say that I’m “happy” with the results. I will wait and see. But In the meantime I am optimistic. We should have some prompt policy/Procedure questions rectified quickly by the new Council based on the Responses on Critical Issues which were provided by the Candidates elected. The question regarding a referendum on the Georgia Park 60+year land lease was:
1. Funding of Referendum Processes:
1. the City pays for a proper referendum;
2. the Proponent pays for a proper referendum; or
3. citizens are required to fund an AAP (Alternate Approval Process) using their own money and energy.
Which of these options do you support? And what are the reasons for your choice?
The results which came back from our elected representatives (except from Councillor Brennan) were:
The next question put to candidates involved the time for Council and for the Public to consider the agenda:
Council agendas are produced by Staff and are distributed to Council and to the public two business days ahead of the respective Council meeting which they define. Does this schedule give sufficient time for Council and the public to read, comprehend, research and discuss with each other, with authorities and with the public, the issues represented in what may be a 300+ page document?
Please respond with either YES or NO and, if NO, please give the number of working days – do not include weekends and holidays- which you feel should be available to Council and the Public to consider the issues in an agenda prior to a Council meeting. (Please give your estimate as a number). Include your reason(s) if you feel so inclined.)
The results which were returned by all candidates except Councillor Brennan and now Mayor Elect McKay were:
It is my view that if these matters were settled much Communication and Trust could be restored between Council, Staff and the Public. Here these questions have only been answered in principle by our new Councillors and require discussion concerning, for example, the magnitude of a question requiring a referendum process which would demand a true referendum for the first question; and the number of days by which the agenda should precede a Council meeting to allow adequate consideration by all.
It is my fervent hope that discussions and decisions on these questions can be undertaken quickly.
My sincere thanks to all those candidates who participated in responding to these questions and to the interaction shared between them in seeking answers. I believe that their responses were improved by their practice of sharing their suggestions. It is to be hoped that we see more sharing among all concerned, Council, Staff and the Public in the Council which will be sworn in on Dec. 1.
There seem to be a lot of estimates of the number of voters in Nanaimo over the last few years. Looking at them gives rise to a number of questions which, I assume, will also relate to the various figures given for Nanaimo’s population. A Question to Legislative Services on this matter drew the following response:
From: Chris Jackson
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 9:20 AM
To: ‘Ron Bolin’
Subject: RE: Number of Eligible Voters
Hi Mr. Bolin, the number on CivicInfo BC is their estimate. I am not sure how they derived the number but it is their estimate. Once the official results are declared we’ll send CivicInfo all the final information, including the number of eligible voters.
For our election, we used the same process as previous elections, as per the Elections Bylaw. We received the Provincial voters list in July. We then reviewed the list for correctness and revised as needed, as the list does not align exactly with the City of Nanaimo boundaries (for example, some parts of Jingle Pot Road are in the City and others are not). This process resulted in 62,673 eligible residents on the voters list. This number is then supplemented with new registrations for a final total of eligible voters. We’ll then use that number with the actual ballots cast to determine the actual voter turnout.
In terms of population growth and the number of electors etc, I think there are many factors coming into play including the often talked about shift in demographics.
Chris Jackson, MCIP, RPP
Legislative Services Manager and Chief Election Officer
250.755.4489 (phone); 250.755-4479 (fax)
Visit the City’s website at: http://www.nanaimo.ca
From: Ron Bolin [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2014 9:34 PM
To: Chris Jackson
Subject: Number of Eligible Voters
Please advise as to correctness:
CivicInfoBC gives the figure for eligible Nanaimo voters as 68873:
On the City’s web site the number is given as 62673:
Click to access 2014GeneralElectionMayorResults.pdf
Did we lose voters from 2013?
The number required for an AAP in 2013 was 6338, indicating 63380 electors.
The number for an AAP in 2011 was 6268, i.e. 62680 electors. Very close to the 2014 figure. No growth of electors in 3 years?
There seems to be a fair amount of jumping around in these figures.
How are they derived?
What a day it was?
Nothing new, apathy reigns.
The election was voting officials out of office not voting anyone in with any ‘new’ vision.
We have many newbies! on all fronts, Nanaimo Council, RDN & Schoolboard.
We are now in the danger zone where the outgoing officials can squeeze through their agenda followed by staff taking advantage of the uninitiated newcomers.
We live in interesting times.
The newbies should have to pass a knowledge of the OCP test prior to taking the oath of office. This would be like passing a drivers test before getting a learners permit.
I forgot to note that the candidate who received the fewest votes still brought home a respectable number, 1780, which shows that they represented more than just family, friends and the seriously disgruntled. There were some ideas floated in this election.
Roger McKinnon had ideas of spending $$Millions of tax dollars to promote>>gulp..growth!
Altogether a lacklustre election.Too many voted out too few voted in.
Too few voted.
Too few interested.
Too few concerned about the future.
Too many disenfranchised.
Too few elected that will change even a lighbulb.
I wish I could say something positive but good intentions are not enough.
FWIW; I am curious to see just how many Cable Bay candidates were involved besides McKinnon.
Rumor was three; that includes Yoachim & Roger.
February the 13th will reveal all.
JOE; I think that knowledge of the OCP should be requisite before the election.
We really must consider prejudging candidates.
The idea of just anyone becoming an elected official with all it’s commitments & responsibilites is antiquated ath the best.
The present system relies upon either funding from vested interests or votor apathy( this election)