Inaugural Address, 2022 - Mayor Ryan Windsor
Family and friends, good evening and welcome. Thank you for joining us tonight.
I’d like to once again acknowledge the Tsawout and Tsartlip First Nations, upon whose ancestral lands we are gathered tonight. Thank you to Tsartlip elder Tom Sampson for offering a blessing tonight. We look forward to a continued positive relationship. HÍSW̱ḴE.
Dignitaries in attendance tonight include MLA Adam Olsen, a former member of Central Saanich Council.
Thank you also to Central Saanich Fire Department– both career staff and volunteers, our Central Saanich Police Service and its members, District of Central Saanich staff and volunteers for their dedication and efforts.
I thank and acknowledge all candidates, families, friends, campaign volunteers, community organizations, media, election staff and voters for participating in the 2022 local election! We were fortunate to have had a positive and civil democratic election, and we should not take that for granted.
Thank you to outgoing Council member Carl Jensen for his service and contributions over the past three council terms. Carl, your 11 years of service have had a positive impact on our community.
Let’s also take a moment to celebrate our new and returning Councillors!
Welcome to newly elected Councillor Sarah Riddell. We are fortunate to have you join our Council as a new voice and decision maker for our community.
Councillor Gordon Newton now enters his second term in office following his election 2018.
Councillor Niall Paltiel was first elected in 2014 and has served continuously since.
Councillor Zeb King is serving his sixth term having served from 2002-2008 and continuously since rejoining council in 2011.
Councillor Bob Thompson is now serving his sixth term having been elected in 1993, 2002, 2005, 2014, 2018 and again this year.
Councillor Chris Graham is now serving his seventh term having been first elected to Council in 1996, serving through 2008 and rejoining Council in 2014.
Together this group of people brings passion, experience, and positive energy – I believe we will support and work well with each other and our community.
I’d also like to thank everyone for the privilege to serve a third term as your Mayor! I’m excited and ready for the term of office ahead, and am truly grateful for the opportunity to work with this Council.
From all that I saw and heard all of the candidates ran excellent campaigns. Those who were elected will now bring to this table what they heard while door-knocking and connecting with our residents.
Building on these personal conversations, we will do as we have during each of the past few Council terms and launch a Citizen Satisfaction Survey. We have been continuously improving this process in an effort to deliver statistically valid results. This organized and structured approach has proven to be another useful tool to help Council set out the goals and priorities for this term.
Turning to the priorities. We have seen a fair amount of consistency in the direction our community wants us to go over the past few Council terms.
I expect that some of the previously identified priorities were talked about when you spoke to our residents on the doorstep during the campaign. There was likely much talk about what we still need to do. It is easy to miss celebrating our successes, but we have had many, and there is an incredible amount of good work that has recently got underway.
In the area of road safety and active transportation, for example, we have seen several projects completed recently. They have improved safety and encourage walking and cycling in our community. As a small community, we can only move as fast as finances will allow, and to this end we are so grateful for the partnerships that made these recent projects possible.
Turning our minds to the path ahead.
I find my crystal ball to be fuzzy when predicting where this new Council will settle in terms of specific details around our priorities and goals. While I have a sense, I would not want to presume prior to our strategic planning what our plans may be. My apologies to staff in advance as we turn to them to help sort us and our ideas into plans that will guide our efforts over the next four years.
That said, the following is a non-exhaustive list of some of the priorities I believe may arise as we chart our course over the next term.
The Climate Leadership Plan will be significant in this term. It guides us to reduce emissions through practical programs for our residents, such as the Oil-to-Heat Pump Program, which is allowing homeowners to significantly reduce pollution while heating their homes. This is a first of its kind program in BC and has demonstrated leadership despite our being a mid-sized municipality.
I am confident we will continue to support or agricultural community so as to continue being, as one councillor once called us, “an agricultural superpower in the Capital Region”.
Improving our active transportation network and road safety continue to be an area of great interest to our community, and other roadway improvements such as the Keating Flyover will again be key in this term.
As I alluded to earlier, we will soon begin to build on recent work and determine today’s community priorities. We will do so through collaboration and good debate in the coming months. I look forward to the opportunity to do this work with Council, staff and the community.
We are stronger when we work together.
Thank you. HÍSW̱ḴE