Give yourselves a pat on the back. You have elected a stellar Council.
I have chatted with each councilor one-on-one. I can tell you they are all dedicated to their roles and passionate about their community.
Every one of them brings talent and experience to the Council table.
In this term, Council will experiment with methods of working effectively together.
Beginning in the New Year, we will meet in brainstorming sessions. Unlike our typical formal, agenda-packed Council meetings, these will be designed for visioning, conversation and idea exchange.
The first will be a general discussion about what we want to focus on in this term. Subsequent sessions will examine specific topics, such as economic development, fiscal management, or community development.
In this term, we will introduce the concept of portfolios. Any councilor or group of councilors can define a portfolio of their choosing for the purpose of policy or program development. The intent of portfolios is to harness the interests and passions of council members, and to leverage their community networks.
This term of Council will also see more outreach to residents to engage you in community building. For example, the makeover of Mill Street will occur in this term and we want input into the look of the new street and ideas on how to minimize construction disruption.
Other topics for public discussion will include youth services and active transportation, to name just two.
As Mayor Watson of Ottawa said last night in his inaugural address: Collaboration is not a luxury for us, it is a duty which residents bestow on us.
Over the last four years, I have learned that many of the best ideas do not come from Town Hall. They come from you. Collaboration is key to making our town better and stronger.
So, get involved. Keep up with local news and issues.
This Council will be at its best if you are giving your best.
Help us plan the town we all want to live in.