It is a privilege to have the opportunity to write a column for the local paper. With this privilege comes responsibility.
It is never an easy task to pick out a couple of issues to highlight because there are so many items that require council consideration. Council’s bylaw priority list, which can be found on the city’s website, has 17 bylaws which have been identified as needing council action to be updated or implemented.
Staff are always working to streamline the bylaw approval process, and are now trying to consolidate all of the city’s fees and charges into a single bylaw.
This list includes bylaws which regulate our parks, sewers, storm drains, animal control, clean air, airport, business licences, property maintenance, sign regulations, our public wharf, and advisory committees.
Also on this list are new bylaws to be considered. They include a new standards of maintenance bylaw, a bylaw to address aggressive panhandling, a bylaw to regulate beekeeping and hen-keeping, a good neighbour bylaw and a bylaw to deal with issues of medical marijuana.
This month council will meet for two days for the purpose of setting strategic priorities for the next few years. We will review our short and long term goals for meeting our strategic objectives and organization-wide goals.
There is a list of 29 subjects that require our consideration, including reviewing our financial plan, developing strategies to grow our tax base, addressing inequities in provincial/federal funding, identifying opportunities to make efficiency gains in our service delivery, determining how we can best increase housing stock across all categories including rentals and affordable housing units, reviewing the steps needed to implement our downtown/waterfront plan, reviewing steps needed to implement our community energy and climate change plan, developing and implementing a compost project in Nelson, developing a funding strategy for maintaining our facilities, reviewing our district energy plans, sanitary and storm infrastructure upgrades, water smart plans, Nelson Hydro infrastructure upgrades, library strategic plans, climate adaptation recommendations, IT plans, and plans to deal with traffic, developing an invasive weed strategy, reviewing our recycling services, extending broadband, and reviewing collective agreements and responsibilities of council portfolios.
So I’m guessing that with this impressive list of areas that require the consideration of council and staff we will keep busy and continue to bring these issues forward for public discussion, consultation and determination.
How Nelson city council responds to the issues of the day or plans to meet the challenges of tomorrow is and should be a collaborative effort.
Your mayor and councillors live in your community and are accessible. Send us an email, give us a call, talk to us on the street or better still attend a council meeting or a community engagement process. We want to know your thoughts after all we are working for you, to make Nelson the best it can be.
Please remember your vote makes a difference on the 19th get out and vote!
Michael Dailly shares this space weekly with his council colleagues.