We’re off to a good start. At the first “real” council meeting on Monday night, the newly elected council got the two thumbs up. There was no bickering, animosity or dissension. Council actually unanimously agreed on most issues and when they finally got down to business, it went quickly.
Mayor Wendal Milne held true to his election promises of reviewing spending, being more open and transparent and listening to the public. By opening up the floor to the public at the end of the formal council meeting, he gave people the chance to speak candidly about issues they were concerned about. And it worked, folks came up to speak and they weren’t intimidated. This appears to be a very approachable council and hats off to Milne for following through.
Inviting the public to sit on review committees is also a positive step forward. There are always un-elected people who have insight and vision which can come to a good use in a public way. It will also likely stop some of the seething resentment seen at the last council meetings.
It is still honeymoon time and we have to remember that not all items that come before council will be favoured by the public. There are vestiges of past agreements to consider and follow through on. There will also be some tough decisions made that may not feel so great, but the business of running a district still has to go on. Let’s hope the public, staff and council can see the light at the end of the tunnel and work together to make Sooke an even greater place to live and work.