Michael Dailly

Michael Dailly

COLUMN: Joining Team City Council

Recently elected Nelson city councillor Michael Dailly offers his first column.

Nelson city council has been apprised of the status of the various city departments and ongoing developments. As a new councillor it feels a little like joining a relay team, plans and work in progress being the baton that has been passed to your new council. From the outside it seems government moves slowly.

However, I can tell you from my new vantage point the pace is very brisk. We have heard budget presentations and have been working on strategies for going forward.

As should be the case a great deal of time goes into reviewing how tax payer’s money is being spent. Everything we decide must be viewed through many lenses and pass the test of: Is this necessary? Is this a best practice? Does this expenditure of time and money best serve our community? Is this sustainable?

I am pleased to report that our city managers and the previous council have taken a fiscally conservative, long term balanced approach to running the City of Nelson. For this I am very grateful.

It appears to me that staff dedication and competence coupled with sensible governance has resulted in healthy reserves for infrastructure renewal.

Deciding to use our own staff to replace aging underground pipes rather than expensive outside contractors has saved a great deal of money. Adjusting maintenance timetables at our generating station allowed us to take advantage of available excess water flow and produced approximately $80,000 in additional power last year.

Investing in a transformer station means that at peak times when we need to buy power, we get it at a cheaper rate. Nelson Hydro posted a perfect safety record with no accidents reported this past year. Not to be out done our works department matched Hydro’s record with a similar record of no accidents. Well done!

I used the analogy of being in a relay race to describe how it feels to be part of Team City Council. The question now is: Where do we go from here? Ensuring we remain on track with a balanced budget and well maintained infrastructure is essential, reviewing bylaws to confirm they are relevant and creating new ones if required, is necessary. Encouraging a healthy business and cultural sector is important. Looking short term, council has a responsibility to ensure that no one is left behind. We must lead the way to finding solutions for social and economic issues.

We must open the conversation to create a collaborative process of addressing the concerns and hardships which people in our community face, issues such as, the lack of affordable housing, poverty, homelessness and access to adequate public health care and transportation.

I believe that if we have the will to act as a team together we can make Nelson a better place for everyone to live, work and play. Long term, council must lead the way in finding best practices to ensure our way of life is sustainable.

Global warming and climate change are happening now coupled with a shift away from dependence on fossil fuels means we need to find new ways of doing things.

We need to support active and public transportation, reduce energy consumption, improve waste management, conserve water use, and support local food production and food security measures.

I am buoyed by our community’s willingness to tackle these issues. The people of Nelson have a “can do” attitude and I am so proud and pleased to be part of the team working to make Nelson a better place for everyone, today and into the future.

If you have any questions, suggestions or want get proactive. Let’s talk. Together we can make a difference: mdailly@nelson.ca

Nelson city councillor Michael Dailly shares a weekly column with his council colleagues.