Norm Smith's platform for Nanaimo City Council

Norm Smith

0803 - Governance: Good governance is the staple of any well functioning city council. The citizens of Nanaimo have lost their trust and belief that the current council can provide the proper governance or even function as a team.

Nanaimo citizens deserve a council built on accountability, responsibility, and most importantly, teamwork.

In June of 2017, the Community Engagement Task Force was formed to further community engagement and public conversation between council members and the citizens. As the chairperson of the Community Engagement Task Force, I wholeheartedly believe in community consultation before making decisions that affect us all. I believe that these community engagement sessions are very valuable and I would like to see them continue into the next council term.Decisions must be made based on following procedures, policies, and the proper protocols.

Councillors must have a willingness to listen to citizens. As an RCMP officer and unit commander, I received extensive training in conflict resolution and crisis de-escalation. As a retired member, I will continue to develop those skills and focus on teamwork. I can serve our community in this area to get the job done.

Basic Infrastructure: One of my main concerns for the citizens of Nanaimo is service delivery. We all pay taxes and are not getting the level of service we deserve. Garbage and graffiti downtown are taking away our sense of safety. The Seawall is the jewel of our waterfront, but you can now notice all the broken tiles that are not even picked up. Poorly maintained roadways, lack of snow removal in the winter, weeds along sidewalks all give the impressions to tourists and residents alike that Nanaimo does not care what it looks like.

Public safety is a basic infrastructure need. New LED streetlights can be installed at pedestrian/motor vehicle high-crash intersections to prevent injuries. They are not needed everywhere, but by consulting with ICBC and the RCMP Traffic Unit, we can identify locations of importance.

We live in a beautiful city, but basic infrastructure must be maintained before spending huge amounts of taxpayer’s money on frills that are not needed at this time.

Homeless Issues: Homeless and “at risk” of being homeless issues must be addressed. There are different categories of being homeless or at risk of being homeless. We have citizens who are employed at jobs and trying to be productive in our community, but are homeless as they can’t afford rent or mortgages. They need our help.

We have senior citizens who have worked their whole lives, but are homeless or at risk of being homeless due to cost of living and declining incomes. They need our help.

Citizens with mental or addiction health issues who can not physically take care of themselves need secured-care housing to help monitor them on a daily basis. Federal and Provincial Governments must sit down with the city, the Nanaimo Homeless Coalition, community groups, and citizens to develop fair and equitable resolutions to the problems facing Nanaimo today.

Overall, Nanaimo councillors need to be accountable to each other, to city staff, and to the citizens before trust will return. Councillors need to be responsible and follow the proper procedures, policies, and protocols when making decisions that affect us all.

Teamwork will be the key to right the ship and show everyone that Nanaimo is back on track again.

Norm Smith decides to run for Nanaimo City Council

Norm Smith

0615 - Norm Smith has dropped out of the race for mayor, citing Leonard Krog's strong candidacy and record.

Smith issued a statement late Friday saying Krog's entry into the race brought a strong following, the experience of an elected official, and the merits and ability to become an excellent mayor. He said he will instead run for a position on city council.

"As many citizens of Nanaimo are aware that last year, I declared my candidacy for the position of mayor for the 2018 election in Nanaimo. My goal was simple - to help rebuild our city with good leadership and accountability.

Recently, a very strong candidate, Leonard Krog, has announced that he will be running for the mayor's position. Mr. Krog has a strong following, the experience of an elected official, and the merits and ability to become an excellent mayor.

As a retired police officer, I was trained to always evaluate your situation and re-evaluate when the circumstances change.

The circumstances certainly changed with his announcement. I truly felt that I had the knowledge and ability to lead council or I would have never declared, but finishing in second place would not allow me to reach my goal of helping the city rebuild. I put out a poll to seek the opinions of my supporters as to continue in the mayor race or gain experience by running for a council position instead.

First of all, I want to thank the almost 500 folks who answered the poll and dozens of others who wrote texts to me. As I have stated in previous texts, willingness to listen to people is a must for councillors and the mayor if we want to be accountable and transparent to our citizens – 80% want me to run for council to gain the experience of municipal politics. To the 20% who want me to continue in the mayor's race, I thank you for your continued belief in me, but if I am successful in winning a council seat, I can reach my goal of helping the city and gain the experience for the future.

Therefore, I am removing myself from the mayoral race and announcing now that I intend to run as a candidate for city council for Nanaimo 2018.