Nanaimo needs its credibility and civility restored, says former councillor Jeet Manhas in announcing his candidacy for council in the Oct. 20 election.
“The city’s reputation has taken a serious hit during the past four years, and
my experience from my previous six years on city council will allow me to play a major role rebuilding job,” says Manhas.
“Those aren’t just empty words, during my two terms on city council from 2002 to 2008 the city enjoyed
major accomplishments like downtown revitalization, The Nanaimo Ice Centre, Oliver Woods Recreation Centre, and the beginning of the Linley Valley parkland designation.
“Those councils also legalized secondary suites to tackle the housing shortages
at that time, we got things done with an excellent council,” he says.
He’s optimistic about the future with a new council to rebuild confidence in staff which have been decimated with dozens of highly-qualified people being pushed out of
the door or leaving for opportunities elsewhere. Re-establishing trust will be the first challenge for council, and it doesn’t end with the internal operations of the city, Manhas says.
“We have to get back the trust of the citizens so they
can take pride in their city again, not fearing when the next shoe will drop,” says Manhas.
“That will require leadership from council. We need to enshrine effective business-friendly policies through forward-thinking approaches, especially
in what I see as “customer service” to the members of our community,” he adds.
Tight control over city spending to keep tax increases to a minimum has to be a major focus of the new council, he says.
fallen down when it comes to community consultation on major issues. The public has to feel part of the process,” he adds.
Manhas supports volunteerism to boost social services and the arts and culture. He also sees a need to ensure high standards
in transportation services in the city.
“When those things happen we will see the development of new employment opportunities, that’s the backbone of our community,” he adds.
His service on boards such as the Nanaimo Regional
District and the Port of Nanaimo from 2010 to the present, as chair of the Port from 2014 until 2016, give him a well-rounded record of achievement.