Monday, November 03, 2008

'MEET THE CANDIDATES' BILL FORBES

Bill Forbes

Occupation: Business Owner

Age: 50

Residence: Departure Bay

I have been involved in Neighbourhood activism for more than ten years. I have chaired the Brechin Hill Community Association (BHCA), Co-Chaired the Nanaimo Neighbourhood Network (NNN), chaired the Plan Nanaimo Advisory Committee (PNAC), and represented the Community on PNAC, the Parking Advisory Committee, the Neighbourhood Friendly Home Committee and the BC Ferries Community Liaison Committee.

I have a track record of success in ensuring the Community is represented and heard including defeating the proposed 28 story High-rises on Stewart Ave., including Neighbourhood Planning funding in the City Budget, ensuring the Stewart Avenue Corridor and Brechin Hill is slated for a Neighbourhood plan in early 2009, negotiating with BC Ferries to respect the surrounding Community when redesigning the Departure Bay Terminal, and having Brechin Road reconstructed with a proper sidewalk to name a few.

The 5 most important issues are:

  • Community Representation and Involvement
  • Neighbourhood Plans
  • Strategic Densification leading to better use of transit
  • Retaining the Urban Containment Boundary and stopping Sprawl
  • Affordable and Social Housing

Community Representation through acknowledging existing Neighbourhood groups and the umbrella Nanaimo Neighbourhood Network and advocating for the involvement of these groups by opening committee seats to them, providing support for there city wide networking in order to better communicate and for the City to in turn accept their input as essential to the decision making process.

Neighbourhood Plans should be completed one after the other. The Official Community Plan (OCP) calls for them and to date we have only 4. They are a budget line item now and policy must be implemented by Council to mandate their completion prior to the next OCP 10 Year Review.

Strategic Densification through Nodes and Corridors is an OCP pillar. And as city we have to start mandating these types of constructs where they are to be located. That means adhering to the OCP guidelines and moving forward with reducing the urban sprawl developments.

The Urban Containment Boundary UCB must stop being toyed with and that means as a Council having the fortitude to say no to changes to it and developments that encourage sprawl;

Affordable/Social housing units can be looked at as Market and non-market housing. As a City we can utilize Density Bonusing, Inclusionary Zoning, Land Banking and other planning techniques to ensure increasing affordable housing stock. The City has to encourage more rental housing and seek funding from the province and federal to increase our ability to provide social housing.

The most rewarding aspect of public service is doing something for the betterment of your community.

The most discouraging can be the same. It’s impossible to please all and once elected that aspect I think becomes all too clear.


allvoices

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