Bill Manners

Community Activist

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My Vision for Nanaimo

A top priority for me is for Nanaimo to get back to the basics of good governance.  My prime goal is to work with the new mayor and council to rebuild a solid working relationship between the City Council and City Staff.  We also need to build up trust between the City Council and the residents of Nanaimo.  There are several key areas that I especially want to work on:

City Hall
In the last few years, we have lost a lot of talented, knowledgeable and skilled employees at City Hall.  I, Bill Manners, want to create a more positive atmosphere of communication and co-operation between all staff and council.  Using the Core Services Review as a springboard to provide the best city services to residents while remaining fiscally responsible are among changes I would like to see made.

I want to improve communication between the Nanaimo City Council and residents.  I assure residents that I will actively listen to their concerns and will do my best to respond appropriately.  I wish to develop a more transparent process for City Council that is focused on making sure that residents understand the reasons why decisions have been made.  Those decisions and the criteria behind them should be held in open meetings and not only discussed during in-camera sessions. As a member of the Community Engagement Task Force, I am quite aware that some existing methods of communication do not work as well as they used to.  We need to take a look ahead and use new technologies and methods of engaging with the public.

Economic Development
There has been a distinct lack of focus on attracting new economic opportunities to Nanaimo.  Our local job market is stagnant with a lack of permanent full-time jobs paying a living wage.  Many in Nanaimo are working two or more part-time jobs to keep afloat.  Our new council must work to make Nanaimo an attractive place for new businesses. I am aware of how new technology and artificial intelligence is changing how we work and do business while eliminating many skilled and unskilled jobs.  I wish to partner with the Federal and Provincial governments plus VIU to ensure that local workers receive training, so they can continue to participate in our rapidly changing economy.

Additionally I, Bill Manners, would love to work with the new mayor, fellow councillors and city staff to improve the livability of Nanaimo to ensure that it remains a great place for residents to live, work, travel and play.

Looking towards a greener future as our population approaches 100,000, we need to increase the density of our neighbourhoods, while also improving the walkability, and cycling infrastructure throughout Nanaimo.  It's time to take another look at zoning, creating neighbourhood nodes, and improving accessibility for disabled residents.

Our public transportation infrastructure frankly has a lot of room for improvement.  Our new council needs to work closely with the Regional District of Nanaimo to make it easier for residents to get to work, school, shopping, entertainment, and to visit our wonderful parks and public spaces.  With a personal background of providing transportation for over 46 years to Nanaimo residents, I am quite aware of how transit could be to improved and have workable ideas to share with Nanaimo Regional Transit.

Public Spaces
We have some great public spaces in Nanaimo, that are well-utilized, but under-serviced.  We also have public spaces that are not well used at all, and have a lot of untapped potential.  The unification of the waterfront walkway, as well as the development of 1 Port Drive, are opportunities to improve the quality of life for Nanaimo residents.  Small improvements to our walkway can be done to enhance the livability and enjoyment of residents as well as our many visitors to Nanaimo.

Nanaimo needs to be a tourist destination, not a place that tourists pass through to go to other destinations.  Working with other council members, staff, and private investors, we can create reasons for tourists to remain in Nanaimo and spend their tourism dollars here.

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