LETTER: New year needs to bring change to Nanaimo politics

The majority of 2017 at Nanaimo city hall was a year of dysfunction, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: City chooses not to file suit against mayor, Jan. 2.

When I reflect on the state of our municipal politics this past year, I can not help but to feel disappointed, saddened and at times even shocked.

The majority of 2017 at Nanaimo city hall was a year of dysfunction, but also a year that made it crystal clear what most of our municipal government’s elected and key non-elected officials’ priorities are. A recent report showed that one-quarter of children in Nanaimo live in poverty. Instead of our municipal elected officials focusing on tackling an issue such as this, they were instead led to focus all their energy on rallying up support for an event centre. A project that would take the city and its taxpayers years to pay for. Eighty per cent of citizens who voted in the referendum voted against the proposed event centre, a project that originated from pure self-interest.

Nanaimo’s city politics caused a great deal of damage in 2017. Throughout the year, the city lost their relationship with the Snuneymuxw First Nation, there was inappropriate behaviour from both elected and non-elected representatives. Also, personal finances and the city’s budget were outrageously mistreated.

However, the most alarming item of 2017 for me was the most recent, the dropping of the lawsuit against Mayor Bill McKay. The reason why I believe this is troublesome is because this lawsuit made Nanaimo appear in the news across the nation. Why would council make this lawsuit that damaged our city’s reputation only to drop it a year later? The lawsuit was clearly not needed.

Looking towards the year ahead of us should give the citizens of Nanaimo hope because there is an election this year. The most important election in Nanaimo’s history. An opportunity to end Nanaimo’s dysfunctional oligarch state of politics.

Michael Ribicic, Nanaimo

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.