Nanaimo has a little bit more sway, now, on the regional district board.
City council, at its meeting on Monday, selected Coun. Diane Brennan as the municipality’s newest representative on the Regional District of Nanaimo board.
RDN administrative services manager Jacquie Hill had sent correspondence last month advising that the City of Nanaimo and the City of Parksville were each required to appoint one additional director by Nov. 14 due to increased populations.
A staff report from city clerk Sheila Gurrie recommended Coun. Sheryl Armstrong be appointed, but the newest councillor preferred otherwise.
“I believe that Coun. Brennan should be the person, when you look at record of expertise in that area,” Armstrong said. “So in fairness, I would like to be the alternate. I think I’m in a better position to go at a moment’s notice than other people and I’d be prepared to do that.”
Coun. Jim Kipp suggested it’s important that Nanaimo directors show solidarity at the RDN board table.
“If we vote differently out there and don’t vote in a bloc, we’re not facilitating the needs of our tax dollars,” he said.
Kipp added that he’d like to see the size of the regional district board reduced.
“By increasing the numbers up there, we’re just getting more politicians involved in 150,000-people governance, and we’re all the same, there’s not much difference in the communities,” he said.
Resident Don Bonner spoke on the subject and said it’s important that Nanaimo directors have good attendance at RDN meetings.
“There are some significant financial issues that are voted on that affect our taxes at these meetings and if we are missing board members, the citizens of Nanaimo are not fully represented and we have lost our majority vote,” he said.
Brennan’s appointment was unanimous. The City of Nanaimo now has eight directors at the RDN board table.
Other news from Monday’s city council meeting: