A Nanaimo councillor is seeking a third term, hoping she can bring consistency to the city’s leadership.
Sheryl Armstrong is one of eight city council incumbents running for re-election.
She said she wasn’t always certain about running for a third term, as she had some health problems this year, but she’s been given the all-clear and can now “fully commit” to another four years at the table.
The retired RCMP sergeant joined council in 2017 and was there for the tail end of a tumultuous period at city hall. Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, she feels the current council had some good years.
“With this council there was a lot of diverse opinions, absolutely, no doubt, but there’s really respectful dialogue. There’s good debate,” she said. “Despite our differences – and there’s marked differences in some aspects – it was still a good working environment which made a huge difference.”
As a comparative veteran of the council table, she said it’s been interesting to hear the perspectives of some of the first-time councillors.
“It makes me sit and think and do a little bit more research as to why they’re feeling that way,” she said. “And I think the thing that they have to respect too is that some of us around the table have got a lot of lived experiences, which is also important.”
Armstrong said she doesn’t disagree for the sake of debate – she says what she believes and she tries to be consistent with her decision-making.
She was one of two councillors to oppose the Reimagine Nanaimo city plan, but since the vote was 7-2, “that means that you get on board. That’s how it has to work.”
Armstrong said she doesn’t believe the city plan accurately reflected citizens’ priorities, namely when it comes to public safety. She said she will ask for the return of a City of Nanaimo public safety committee and will also advocate for approaches that target chronic offenders as she believes that “a small percentage of people are really hurting a large percentage of people.”
Armstrong sees some divisions in the community and some issues that will motivate voters to go to the polls, so she anticipates there may be some changes to council. With that in mind, she’d like to be able to return to the table for consistency’s sake as someone already up to speed on current and upcoming city projects.
“People have seen me for the last five and a half years, so they know that I’m about and that’s not going to change,” she said. “I’m going to come to the meetings prepared as I always have [and] I will always engage with the public.”
Anyone running for mayor or councillor in the City of Nanaimo or the District of Lantzville, regional director in the Regional District of Nanaimo’s Area A, B, C or E, or school trustee in School District 68 is asked to contact the Nanaimo News Bulletin to set up an interview or invite us to a campaign launch event. Phone Greg Sakaki at 250-734-4621 or e-mail email@example.com.