Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog is seeking a second four-year term during what he calls an exciting period for the city.
The city is seeing strong investment in residential, commercial and industrial development, the population is growing and a respectful council is working together well, Krog, 69, said Wednesday.
When it comes to major capital projects in the city, a new patient tower and other upgrades at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital are needed, said Krog, noting hospital improvements — funded by senior levels of government — would help to attract needed physicians and specialists to the area.
The number of people without homes in Nanaimo appears to have increased to about 700 from 600, Krog said.
Krog reiterated his desire for the province to open beds for people who require secure involuntary care — while it wouldn’t be the only solution for those with severe problems living on the streets, it would help, he said.
Along with other cities, Nanaimo is facing a dire shortage of affordable housing and a tight rental market.
During the past four years, it has been “very satisfying” serving as mayor, said Krog, who spent 18 years as an NDP MLA before deciding to move to the municipal arena.
He swept into the mayor’s job in 2018 with a decisive win, pulling in 72.9 per cent of votes cast.
City hall had become something of a laughingstock prior to the 2018 election due to its reputation for infighting among council and with some members of senior staff. Police were called in and consultants were hired to investigate and help resolve disputes.
Since the election, a more sober atmosphere has prevailed at city hall and around the council table.
“Good governance has been restored in Nanaimo,” said Krog, who anticipates that the majority of council members will run again. Just two from the previous council were re-elected in 2018, councillors Ian Thorpe and Sheryl Armstrong.
>>> To comment on this article, write a letter to the editor: email@example.com