Routley seeks seat on Nanaimo city council

Noah Routley

Thank you Nanaimo, for electing me to your school board in 2014. It has been a pleasure to provide the communities voice on many issues important to education. After much consultation and deliberation, I will now instead be running for election on Nanaimo's City Council. I now have the time to devote myself to full time work towards acting as your voice on council.
 
For the past 4 years in Nanaimo, I have had the passionate leadership and democratic voice our community needs on council. I have witnessed candidates not hold true to their pre-election promises and I too share in voter frustration over this fact. One of the things that sets me apart from most locally elected representatives, is the integrity of my track record.
 
I have stayed true to my election promises, advocating and voting at the table for what I promised to do, prior to election. This meant that my voice was usually the voice of those voters whose needs were not being met. This has been due to my beliefs in social, environmental and fiscal responsibility. I have over 20 years of experience listening, advocating and acting for others in Counselling and in Social Work and I would like to bring these skills to Nanaimo City Council.
My intention is to put our collective voice forward to make important changes. We need many improvements in how our local government delivers on public trust by making changes in the fairness, integrity and transparency of how we do business.
 
Bylaw changes to open/closed meetings
We need to move toward improved transparency, starting changes in the delivery of our meeting formats. Closed meetings should be held only for council to receive specific privacy related business details. Private or confidential details, questions and answers will be completed in closed, but then the general matter will always be brought into an open meeting for council discussion, debate and final decision making. Therefore, all of council's decisions will be discussed in whole or in part at an open meeting, transparently.
 
This vast improvement in meeting structures, used in many progressive cities and countries around the globe, will greatly enhance the overall transparency, integrity and accountability of council business, as all matters will now be open to the public. This will also increase community awareness and engagement and give all voters an opportunity to be heard from in all stages of council business. As voters and taxpayers, this additional transparency will enhance council’s community planning, it’s day to day business practices and also show us when council members are pushing their own agenda or when they are listening to the community.
 
Fiscal, environmental and social responsibility
I believe all local decisions need to be made through the lens of these responsibilities. That will be my focus, to future proof all my decisions through these governing responsibilities. We need to increase our affordable housing for families, we need to attract new business by making Nanaimo attractive to skilled labour and emerging business sectors, develop and improve on many of our environmentally responsible initiatives, boost funding for regional transit, finish our waterfront walkways and infrastructure and focus on higher city densification. But first we need to openly hear from all voters and taxpayers on all local issues and also consider a new funding model.
 
New funding models, regulations and relationship with the province on local funding
I believe Nanaimo needs to start thinking in new ways how to fund our much needed initiatives, without automatic tax hikes. We need to open a review of the entire mid-island local governance structure, the implementation of local consumer satisfaction and also on our business delivery in consultation with the provincial government, to look at best practices and also any funding gaps. We also need to consult with the provincial government on the growing need for regulating council’s behaviours towards each other and the public, conflict of interests and financial management of the region.
 
This overall collaboration on regional service delivery has been done in progressive cities and countries around the globe, showing vast improvements in community services, fiscal streamlining and has also improved accountability and integrity in the delivery of council business. The result of such a regional/ provincial team approach is having additional financial resources for our regional goals and also improved public trust in our local council.
 
Our Voice
Although we do have in place a community vision, we also greatly need to improve on the process we hear from our residents in Nanaimo. We need to openly survey voters and taxpayers, asking what our top priorities for our city and city planning are. We need to give ample notice to voters for responses and engagement. Recently, we have seen overwhelming support from the community to stop the practice of moving forwards on large scale and costly projects until we are clear on our vision for Nanaimo and on our community's priorities. Once a transparent and fair community vision is implemented, council needs to adapt to electors and taxpayer needs and not just their own personal agendas. We need council members who can carefully and thoughtfully weigh the region's goals and resources.
Moving forward, Nanaimo needs council members who will first listen to the entire region prior to acting. If you believe that we need major improvements in transparency, accountability, openness and overall respect on council, then elect Noah Routley to Nanaimo City Council on October 20, 2018.