A Clear Vision
- Post election, councillors need to go on retreat and not come out until they have a clear vision of what Nelson will look like in 2040. For example, what is the socio-economic profile of the city. What are our emissions? What does our transportation mix look like. We currently have the Path to 2040 Strategy. We need to make sure that vision is shared, detailed and easy to visualize.
- Once we have that vision clarified, we need to make every effort to clearly communicate it to the city. We should use interesting and easy-to-understand online videos and visualizations, public gatherings, print materials and more.
- We also need to define key metrics that we can use to objectively measure our progress, which will not only hold us accountable but will allow us to more quickly adapt to changing circumstances.
- We need to bring every other committee, non-profit, company and citizen to rally around that vision and contribute their own plans and strategies to make it real.
- And, of course, as councillors, we need to thoroughly internalize this vision so that every day-to-day decision moves us clearly toward it.
Secure the City from the Effects of Climate Change
- Double down on our efforts to FireSmart the city.
- Look at the latest technology and methods to secure a city from wildfire, water-shortages, flooding, large scale internal migration and more.
- Work actively with the province and private landowners to clear fuel from the West Arm Park and private lands and, declare our entire watershed a critical infrastructure priority.
- Create a market for smoke masks and other technology for reducing the harm from wildfire smoke.
- Prioritize opening all facilities for extended hours during the smoke season, to allow everyone, and especially kids and seniors, to escape the smoke and still be able to gather and play.
- Continue to improve city infrastructure with the foresight what increased rains and longer periods of drought will do to the city.
Get to Zero Emissions by 2040
- Encourage more electric bicycles and cars and non-fossil fuel forms of transport (walking!)
- Much more to come!
Create more Affordable Housing
- Ramp up work already being done on affordable housing. We need to make it a strategic, almost emergency, priority and get really creative, including:
- selling off city land with the covenant to develop as affordable rentals,
- accelerate the time to get building permits
- look at alternative construction methods that will lower construction costs.
Support the Arts
We need to continue to strongly support the arts, with continued funding. Every bit of funding that the city provides gets leveraged tenfold with external grants, which ultimately returns not just an inspiring cultural scene, but real economic prosperity.
Improve relations between our Street Culture, downtown business and citizens
- Provide greater support to Street Outreach and revisit the recommendations of the Street Culture Collaborative.
- Work closely with the small businesses on Baker St. who deal with our street culture every day, to get more involved in creating, and testing, solutions.
- Recognize our common humanity and work hard to treat each other with respect.
Support our Cannabis industry
- Cannabis is legal, and for many people, particularly seniors, it is a life-enhancing medicine. But this does not stop it from being a potentially very harmful drug, especially in strong concentrations. It also has been proven to have significant adverse effects on undeveloped brains – i.e. it can damage kids who smoke regularly. So, education is key.
- Nelson has a world-class product (including tinctures and edibles) that provides essential pain and nausea relief to many.
- We should do what we can to support this industry. We already create a high-quality product that many people already rely on. It would be a shame if it was replaced by an inferior, industrially grown, product that risks turning what should be a medicine into a poison.
- The Cannabis industry can be a great source of good paying jobs and provide additional revenue to the city.
Youth Arts and Sports and Reducing Screen Addiction
- We are facing an epidemic of addiction to social media and screen technology. Community arts and sports are a powerful antidote and we need to support them as much as we can.
- We need to make our arts and sports facilities for youth (and seniors) a priority. It’s good for the brain, the body and the soul.
Keep Taxes Low, Maximize External Funding
- We need to keep a tight reign on the city’s finances (and I think the city manager is doing a great job there).
- Property taxes need to be as low as possible to help keep housing affordable. One way to keep taxes low and revenues high is to increase the amount of money we raise from external sources.
- We need to build up our grant writing capacity even more by developing a knowledge base, more workshops, more effective use of online collaboration tools, etc. to make sure that we can secure every possible source of funding available.