Please click on a topic to learn about Jonathan’s ideas. This page will be updated regularly.
Too often, politicians view their positions as a right rather than a privilege. Through election by the citizens of Lantzville, councillors are given the privilege of representing the entire community. It is the people that are the councillors’ employers. Ethical leadership must be at the forefront of a councillor’s motivations. In enacting their public duties on behalf of Lantzville, councillors should always put the community’s interests first and not their own.
To that end, the following principles should be followed:
- Councillors should recuse themselves from any votes or decisions that could provide them with unique benefits or otherwise constitute a specific conflict of interest (e.g. awarding of contracts for development);
- Councillors should make themselves routinely available to the citizens of Lantzille, either virtually or in person for consultation and feedback;
- Councillors should disclose any relationships with businesses or lobbying groups that may be perceived as a conflicts of interest.
- Councillors should always put the interests of Lantzville first in enacting their public duties, not their personal gain.
I am very disappointed that Council has taken the position that special permission is required to record Council meetings. The default position should be that any member of the public may record what is happening in a public meeting. It is part of accountable government. If elected to Council I would be looking to expand accountability.
Clean, safe and sufficient drinking water should be considered a fundamental right for all Canadians. Lantzville has a unique mixture of drinking water sources, including household wells and municipal supply. For those on well supply who are lucky enough to have clean and safe water in sufficient quantities, this may seem inconsequential. But for those who cannot obtain a safe and/or sufficient source of potable well water, this is a major, life-altering issue. As a community, we owe it to one another to make sure we are all looked after when it comes to the basic necessities of life. That is why Council must continue to act on its mandate to expand access to municipal water sources. There is no doubt that this is a financially intense task, but with the proper foresight, development, reasonable tax revenue and planning, this should all be feasible. Indeed, if one were to consider the material, psychological and lost-investment cost of having a municipality without complete drinking water access, it may very well outweigh the short-term investment costs of expanding these utilities.
Lantzville is a beautiful and unique place with an incredible atmosphere for its residents: the environment and feel of a smaller town with the benefits of being close to a larger city. We all want to maintain the feel and benefits of Lantzville not for only ourselves, but also future generations. That being said, if we want our children and grandchildren to be able to afford to live in Lantzville, we have to be open to some well-planned and well-managed development.
The community worked hard on an Official Community Plan (OCP) and that should be honoured by Council. As a Councillor, I would adhere to the OCP and the feedback of the community.
I am not against development in and of itself, nor am I against growth of the community as a whole, but development should not be accomplished purely for the sake of development and revenue, nor for the benefit of the developers. It should be undertaken for the benefit of Lantzville and its citizens as a whole.
Lantzville has been fortunate to experience lower reported rates of violent and serious crime than most parts of the Regional District. However, with expansion taking place in North Nanaimo and increased transit to the Lantzville area, we must be proactive in our approach to crime. Prevention is the best approach, and this can take many avenues:
- Supporting the implementation and operation of community block watch groups, including supplying micro-grants;
- Expanding and maintaining proper street lighting; tree, bush and hedge trimming, and other public landscaping deterrents;
- Supplying micro-grants for individual homeowners and small businesses to increase deterrents, such as property lighting and alarm systems, including potentially implementing an alarm verification program to deter thefts;
- Increasing community contact with local police liaison as well as consultation with minority communities and seniors.
Local businesses are a key component of our sustainable community. We need a council that stands for their best interests and helps local business owners thrive.
I believe that all license fees should be revenue-neutral, meaning that all fees collected should be reinvested back into the community to help local businesses succeed. Furthermore, signage should be permitted for small businesses in all areas of Lantzville, provided it is of a reasonable size and does not impede the ability of local residents to enjoy their neighbourhood.
A digital directory of local businesses with free listing space for all Lantzville-based businesses, so that the community can be more aware and supportive of them, should also be a consideration of Council.
I want to hear from Lantzville’s business community about what Council can do to support them.
Lantzville’s beaches are a prized jewel of the municipality, and a fundamental community resource and amenity. They must remain accessible and enjoyable by all in the community.
While it is important and understandable to work to prevent the beaches from being used dangerously or disruptively, it makes no sense to shut down access to the general public. To close beach access, remove parking, or otherwise impede the use of these precious amenities punishes all Lantzvillagers just to prevent a small number of “troublemakers” from using the beaches improperly.
Lantzville should focus its limited resources on enforcing regulations when people do something wrong, as opposed to preventing everyone from enjoying the beaches.
Lantzville’s seniors are a vital part of our community and we should be honouring our elders, while providing them with first-class community services.
Many seniors cannot easily travel to utilize public resources, and so we should bring these resources to them.
A prime example is library resources: Lantzville property taxes contribute to the Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) system, yet many senior community members may find it difficult to access the nearest branch (in North Nanaimo).
My suggestion is to implement a program to bring VIRL services to Lantzville as a community resource for seniors and others who cannot easily travel to the North Nanaimo branch. This could include, for example, weekly pick-up and return service for book and item loans, as well as outreach for assisting seniors with library services, such as setting up their digital devices to borrow eBooks.
Such a program would require the “buy-in” of VIRL and other District councillors, and I believe that it is worth pursuing. With Lantzvillians of all ages paying into the VIRL system via their taxes, it is important that everyone be provided with equitable access to these important services.
We also must work as a community to address other issues facing seniors, such as accessibility and isolation.
Council works for the citizens of Lantzville, and must represent the interests of the municipality and its residents. Council should always consult with the citizens before passing policies, legislation or bylaws that will have a major impact on Lantzville.
Too often, community input is sacrificed for speed, with all “readings” taking place too quickly for Lantzvillians to provide their input. This should never happen. Consultation should not just be “lip service”; it should be meaningful and carry weight.
As a councillor I will work to restore the importance of putting community stakeholders first.
“We don’t want Lantzville to become just like Nanaimo.” This sentiment is shared again and again by candidates, yet they often seem to disregard it once in office. We need a councillor who actually means it, and I do.
I completely appreciate the need to improve, professionalize and update bylaws and policies in order to prevent and address issues. For example, to address dumping, property damage or hazards. However, over-regulation that ruins Lantzville’s small-town charm and replaces it with a big city vibe is most definitely not the answer.
Additionally, any bylaws or policies that will have a large impact on the lives of Lantzvillagers deserves extensive community feedback and not to be rushed forward without due process.
Some may think that a small municipality wouldn’t thrive on diversity, but Lantzvillians are a diverse group of individuals and families from a variety of backgrounds. Our diversity is our strength and we should continue to honour all the wonderful things it brings to our community.
Furthermore, we must honour and respect our relationship with the Snaw-Naw-As peoples (also known as the Nanoose First Nations). I would like to see closer collaboration with this community.
We know that when it comes emergencies, it is not a matter of IF, but WHEN.
Lantzville needs to ramp up our emergency preparedness for earthquakes, floods, fires, landslides and other major disasters.
Community first aid training clinics and campaigns to raise awareness are key. Every home in Lantzville should be prepared to survive 72 hours in a disaster, including with first aid and earthquake kits. Local government has a key role to play to bring people together for training and awareness.
First responder access points are also a vital necessity for parts of Lantzville with limited entry and exit roads.
- Lantzville is known for its scenic landscape and natural beauty. Preserving this should not only be a high priority for Council, but also a key component of policies, programs and bylaws.
The BC Energy Step Code acts as a guiding document for local governments to enact best practices with regards to energy efficient buildings and climate leadership. Sadly, Lantzville lags woefully behind other municipalities, operating at the absolute lowest level (Step 1 out of 5).
The purpose of Step 1 is merely “to familiarize builders with new ways of measuring energy efficiency although the actual construction of the building remains the same as conventional construction.” In other words, Lantzville is behind on progress for environmental standards, when we should really be in a position of leadership.
I support strategic, sustainable progress for Lantzville to reach the “Upper Steps” of this code.
More information about The BC Energy Step Code can be found at the link here.
- Additionally, development should be viewed through the lens of environmental impact. For example, insisting on meeting green space targets. Green space is a wonderful community asset that will last generations.
- Our beaches are a beautiful gem of Lantzville. Unfortunately, there is a tendency in some development to channel untreated storm water to the beaches. It is important to insist on minimizing this run off and treating it for contaminants before it reaches the beach.
As we have seen when traffic accidents occur, bottlenecks on Highway 19 can make access for first responders difficult in emergency situations. Similar issues could arise in the event of a major natural disaster. Lantzville needs to work on proper detour routes and emergency access plans.
More coming soon…
We have seen massive increases to the tax rate in Lantzville. We cannot continue to price people out of their homes. It is important that every decision be made with an eye to fiscal responsibility.
This includes requiring developments to be tax-neutral or tax-positive and keeping District projects on budget.
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