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Reader loves changes made to Metral Drive

Metral is beautiful and has succeeded in slowing down the traffic. I  drive it frequently and see cyclists, scooters and pedestrians in greater numbers as they can use this route safely. – Kathy Reilly.

It's a matter of priorities not being met

I saw what they were doing on Metral Drive the other day,  Unbelievable. It looks like someone said how much money can we spend on this street for unnecessary improvements. That's unfortunate when there are other roads that need repaving such as the Island Highway. – Eileen Lewis 

Are we ready for party politics at the city council level?

Party politics is the norm in bigger cities in British Columbia where like-minded candidates form slates to seek election. Nanaimo had one such venture a couple of decades ago but that proved a total flop.

I bring this up because there are hints of a special interest group going in that direction, specifically the Freedom Convey group opposed to government mandates (to keep Canada free), reportedly having a slate of 10 candidates for council and one for mayor. Three possible candidates who participated in the city’s Zoom candidate training session appeared to be a team but did not post their names or reveal their agenda.

That’s more than forming a slate for the election, it’s a far-out special interest seeking a platform to disseminate their message. Such a group running as a slate may actually be a good thing so voters can identify who they are and what they stand for before casting their votes.

Choose your candidates carefully

Letter to the Editor, from Gary Korpan
 
According to audited financial statements available online, the City of Nanaimo spent $181 million of your money this last year, 2021. That is a 9% increase from $166 million in 2020. With more recent inflation, including wage demands, the 2022 expenditures are expected to be substantially higher.
 
Large budgets can often contain unnecessary, wasteful spending that only benefit special interest groups. Such items rarely are in the general community interest. Simply because something has been budgetted for years does not ensure that it is appropriate. Lobbying elected officials has occurred forever leading to budgets filled with expenditures not in the community's interest. Never assume a continuing budget item should be passed automatically.
 
How does this happen? Such vested interest groups "get their vote out" and endorse the candidates willing to do their bidding if elected.  With, ever declining voter turnout, special interest groups, such as public sector unions, advocacy groups, sports & cultural organizations, etc. can dominate election outcomes. Their candidates win and the general taxpayer loses, wondering why their taxes go up and the quality of community services go down.

If you do not vote for candidates independent of special interest groups you will not have a City Council acting for the greater community good, guarding against wasteful spending, working to protect the taxpayers. You need to vote. Be skeptical of any candidate endorsed by special interest groups. Especially any candidates seeking the endorsement of such vested interests.
 
Viable democracy depends upon your actions...at the municipal and school board election polls in October. Good luck.
Gary Korpan