The mandate of municipal government is clear and I am committed to ensuring that Council is focused on things that they are accountable for. In addition, the Mayor is the voice, face and advocate for the city and plays an important role in influencing all levels of government responsible for a range of things that are important to our overall quality of life.
With Council, I want to focus on a number of priorities that will ensure City Hall is working well to enhance the quality of life for all generations in this city that we love so much.”
Set direction, lead staff and solidify an efficient, effective, approachable City Hall.
I will continuously assess staff resources to ensure they are used efficiently and are focused on the City’s priorities.
A welcoming City Hall: I will re-build a positive open relationship with our citizens and restore civic pride in our beautiful City.
I will create a framework that will help improve and enhance relationships with all our employee groups.
2. QUALITY OF LIFE
Liveability, affordability and predictability through the enhancement of core services and infrastructure
Improve and maintain water, sewer, transportation, and power infrastructure based on a prioritized master planning process aligned to the city budget.
Continue to advocate for senior level government funding for enhancement of aging infrastructure.
Elevate Nelson’s capacity to address innovative climate change opportunities within the Nelson system.
Listen to the needs and concerns from the recreation and sports community and work to implement improvements. Help to facilitate local and provincial sporting events in Nelson.
Work with seniors and young families to determine how the City can better support their liveability and affordability.
Recognize the importance and benefit of the Arts and Culture sector and work with local organizations to promote their sustainability and future growth.
Honour, recognize and embrace our community volunteers from all sectors: Ensure they are aware and feel proud of the differences their time and energy is making to our community.
I will create practical solutions to celebrating Nelson, including, for example, installing Christmas lights in our central business district and improvements to the entrances to our City.
3. DEVELOPMENT OF AN ACTIVE VISIONING PROCESS
Engage citizens in conversations about Nelson’s future.
Work with the economic community to develop local opportunities to support their livelihood and expansion.
Work with the social services community to determine how best to collaborate to provide a comprehensive social support system for Nelson’s residents.
Work with the tourism community to continually promote Nelson and area
Work with the outdoor recreation community to understand its footprint and direction, and support it to realize the full potential of its reach within the area.
Work with the resource community to identify opportunities for development and for protection of Nelson’s environment.
Listen to the volunteers across all sectors and identify common concerns, acknowledging that there is volunteer burnout and find ways to provide support.
Consider how to use technology to solicit input (eg Thought Exchange).
4. FOCUS ON OUR CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT
Characterized by respect for all Citizens and Visitors
Reinforce the position that Nelson will undertake to support business expansion and retention; continuity and sustainability.
Maintain principles that Nelson is both a compassionate and tolerant community.
Mutual respect is paramount on Nelson’s streets: Every citizen and visitor to Nelson needs to feel safe and comfortable when walking in downtown Nelson.
We will review the initiatives that have been undertaken thus far to determine how successful they have been, and look at additional options the City could consider.
I will work with the Police Board to ensure adequate street policing.
There are both short and long term issues to focus on when we examine the situation that presently exists in our downtown core. Homelessness, mental health, substance abuse, vagrancy, and panhandling, as examples, are diverse and complex issues that cannot be resolved overnight. What we can do right away is to create a set of expectations that are based on respect for all citizens and zero tolerance for inappropriate and illegal behavior that is not conducive to living in a just and civil society.
I commit to being pro-active, and consult with people from all sectors who are involved and active in the down town core, Whether individuals live there, have business there, work there, visit there, or shop there, they all have a right to be heard.
I will advocate for support from senior government to provide greater assistance to address the issues of mental health, substance abuse, harm reduction and homelessness on our streets.
I will continue to engage local social service providers to hear their concerns and work collaboratively with them.
We will research programs from other communities that are considered leading practices to determine if they would be appropriate to implement in Nelson.
5. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND POTENTIAL
To promote the strength, vitality and diversification of the economy
My economic development focus has and will continue to be about business retention and expansion.
I will reach out and consult with those involved in each of the economic sectors that are active within our community to determine what specific actions the City can take to enhance their capacity for future retention and growth.
I will continually work with proponents to encourage new investment and new business activity.
In collaboration with the community at large, we will identify those economic activities that are conducive to the quality of life and overall economic future which we foresee for our community and pursue those sectors for their economic growth potential. Expanding our current tech sector is one example.
I will support the local cannabis industry and look to sell the industry to the rest of the province in the same way Nelson’s craft beer is promoted.
I will lead a review to streamline municipal processes and policies to ensure they support positive business development and retention, while still achieving the public interest.
6. ADVOCACY, PARTNERSHIP BUILDING AND COLLABORATION
With other levels of government to enhance fire safety and emergency preparedness, health care, housing, social services, education, transportation and other services.
Many areas that are required to move Nelson forward are out of scope of the Municipal Government: They require authority from the Province, or the Federal Government or from other non-government agencies. I have established contacts with many organizations and I will leverage these relationships to resolve issues and create lasting opportunities for Nelson going forward.
Transportation, housing, social services, and education are examples of other areas requiring collaboration, advocacy and partnership building that I intend to pursue as your Mayor.
I am committed to focusing on health care to accelerate political active relationship building locally, regionally, and provincially to position Nelson’s ability to improve health care accessibility and services.