Today’s Poll

Nelson City Council, December 16, 2013

Bill Metcalfe
By Bill Metcalfe
December 17th, 2013

The following is a summary of events at the Committee of the Whole meeting of city council on December 16, 2013. Committee of the Whole meetings do not make decisions but hear presentations from the public and from the city’s own departments.

Silver Wings Award

Karen Macdonald, president of the Nelson Pilot’s Association, appeared before council with a trophy, the Silver Wings Award given by the B.C. Aviation Council this year to the Nelson airport for its outstanding contribution to the community.

Fire Department Update

Fire chief Simon Grypma updated council on the past year’s activities at city hall in the areas of operations, training, fire prevention, public education, and statistics.

City communications

Darren Davidson, the city’s contract communications consultant, gave a report on his activities in the past year. He said his mandate has been five-fold:

  • Be more proactive in communicating with the media.
  • Communicate the big picture.
  • Improve effectiveness of the monthly newsletter.
  • Provide more opportunities for interactive communications with residents.
  • Build a foundation for future e-communications.

He gave details of his progress in all of those areas, as outlined in his presentation attached below. He said he would be presenting a more detailed research paper to council at its next meeting, with recommendations for the future of council communications.

Following the presentation, Councillor Donna Macdonald asked about the issue of interactive communication with the public (the fourth bulleted item above). She referred to the poor public attendance at open houses and other city events designed for the public, and she said his presentation had not really addressed this. Davidson said he has researched this and it will be included in his upcoming research report. He also said he will be presenting research about municipal governments’ use of social media.

Civic Arena Mural

In a special meeting held before the Committee of the Whole, Council approved a request by Nelson Regional Sports Council to issue a Request for Expressions of Interest for the painting of a mural on the exterior wall surface of the Civic Arena, on the Hall Street side and the north side.

Zoning, Water and Sewer

At the same special regular meeting, council agreed to the following adjustments to its proposed new zoning bylaw:

  • Removing the time limit for Temporary Shelters;
  • Meeting with the property owner for 801 Front Street. The bylaws have been revised to designate the property in the OCP as “Mixed-use Commercial/Industrial” and the Zoning to “MU4, Waterfront Mixed-use – Industrial & Commercial” zone;
  • Adding a prohibition on the use of invasive plants in section 10.3 of the Off-Street Parking and Landscape Bylaw.

Council also moved its proposed 2014 Water and Sewer Rates Bylaw through three readings for adoption at a future meeting.


Bill Metcalfe is a freelance writer who covers Nelson city hall for The Nelson Daily. Twice each month he sends out an email with links to his three most recent city hall stories. If you would like to be added to that email list, send a request to

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