Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Portfolio System Adopted By Nanaimo City Council

Enhanced governance of City operations

"Each department of the City provides a wide range of programs and services.  Having a Council member linked directly with each department will help communicate better all that the City does."  -  Richard Harding City of Nanaimo 

Nanaimo City Council is taking steps to enhance the day-to-day governance of City operations by introducing a portfolio system that will see each member of Council assigned one of nine departments via a rotating three month schedule.  The new portfolio system will provide individual Councillors an opportunity to gain insight and knowledge into each department, allowing them to become more familiar with City business and improve their interaction with City management. 

The nine portfolio areas are as follows:

* Culture, Heritage and Strategic Relationships
* Parks, Recreation and Environment
* Information Technology, Legislative Services and Communications
* Finance
* Community Development
* Social and Protective Services
* Nanaimo Fire Rescue
* Engineering and Public Works

The changes being made will also include a greater role for the City's Acting Mayor who, in conjunction with the portfolio lead, will participate at business meetings attended by the Mayor.  Both changes are intended to enhance City governance duties through the full and active participation of Council and greater interaction between Council and management.

The new system allows Council members to gain greater understanding extending beyond normal committee work. Councilors will hold a portfolio for three months and join with the Mayor as a spokesperson for media enquiries associated with their department.

"I look forward to the new portfolio system as an opportunity for Councillors to expand their governance role, get to know staff, and gain greater awareness of the work done in main areas of City operations."  - Councillor Ian Thorpe

"I am very excited about this new approach to governance and day to day operations and see it as a wonderful learning opportunity for council members that will benefit all and move our city forward in a positive way"  -  Councillor Wendy Pratt
"The City's new portfolio system will be of great value for all members of Council.  Its introduction will allow Councillors to better understand the work that staff is carrying out and the issues that are impacting our community.  The information gained and relationships created will prove very useful in moving City business forward."  - Councillor Bill Bestwick


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