On December 1, the newly elected council will be sworn in. They will take their seats in January and begin the process of setting policy which the staff will carry out.
Their task is to adopt policies, bylaws and legislate based on what the citizens of Sooke want. They were voted in to represent the electorate. Of course each member of council will have their “backers” but once elected they are responsible to the whole community, not just their supporters.
Every council is made up of individuals with varying ideas on what they want to accomplish. Some agree with each other, some do not. They form alliances within council and try to steer decisions. What is intrinsically wrong with that is a councillor’s mind may be made up before all of the information comes to the table. That doesn’t leave them with an open mind, it leaves them biased. At public hearings, for example, the public has the opportunity to come forward and speak their mind. If a councillor’s mind is already made up, then that is not fair to the process.
What we would like to see for this new council is a fresh start with open minds and a new attitude – without the old prejudices. No more backroom maneuverings and manipulation. Sooke has so much going for it and a council needs to be able to make decisions for the betterment of the entire community. Council needs to really listen to those who come up to the mic. That’s council’s duty and it is disrespectful to shuffle papers and look disinterested in what is being said.
We have hopes for this new council, it is made up of dedicated citizens who all want the best for the town they represent. They have four years to accomplish something and let’s hope they prove themselves worthy of being elected to the council table. And they can, if they choose to work together for the good of all.