I find it interesting that Council candidates are often asked for their top priorities. What should be more important, though, is what those candidates hear as priorities from members of the community they wish to represent.
So, having listened to the concerns of many citizens, I can state that my top three issues are these:
Improving community safety and decreasing social disorder. Our city needs to be safe, attractive, and welcoming for residents, visitors, and businesses.
Holding the line on Council spending and tax increases. We need taxes to run our city. But in the current economic climate of high inflation and cost of living, many families are struggling. We need to focus on providing basic services that our residents expect, such as water, sewer, road infrastructe, police and fire services.
Forster more affordable housing for young families and workers.
Another top issue is the need to advocate strongly to the provincial government for supportive housing and complex care facilities for those with mental health/addiction problems, and also for much-needed improvements to our Nanaimo Regional General Hospital to better serve the medical needs of our growing and aging population.