Newsletter - Volume 7, Issue 44
Bill Yoachim seeking city seat
William Yoachim, a current councillor for the Snuneymuxw First Nation, has announced he will seek a seat on Nanaimo city council, pledging to act as a "bridge" between the two communities."
Yoachim, who has sat on the First Nation local government since 2002, has taken a leave of absence from his duties as a Snuneymuxw representative until the outcome of the municipal election on Nov. 15. If elected, he said he would consult with Snuneymuxw Chief John Wesley on his "transition" to city council.
"Nanaimo's a great community and it's now time to give back to the community as a whole," he said.
Yoachim was born in raised in the region and has also served on the Vancouver Island University board of governors and also as a board member of the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation. He is also executive director of the Kw'umut Lelum Child and Family Services organization, a society set up to serve First Nation children and families.
The veteran politician said he will pursue a new economic strategy for the region, arguing the city could do more to take advantage of the natural beauty and livability of the area to entice new entrepreneurs to settle in the municipality.
Another priority is establishing Newcastle Island as an "iconic attraction' for the city, a proposal that is currently being examined by the Snuneymuxw and the NEDC.
He said he also wants to curb city property tax increases. To accomplish that, he would push for an independent, 'core review' of city hall, a proposal that has sparked disagreement on city hall before.
However, Yoachim said a third party look at city finances would identify "gaps" in the organization where money could be better spent.
"Most of the answers in the fiscal conversation would come from an independent core review," he said.
Reprinted from Nanaimo Daily News by SAnderson@nanaimodailynews.com