As we start our new journey in 2018, it’s timely to reflect upon all that has happened over the past 12 months and on the changes and challenges the new year brings.
Looking back on the last year, those who felt miserable and afraid had plenty of justification. For many, the year could have signified the loss of a loved one, job or other misfortune.
Still for others, 2017 represented a banner year of accomplishments or milestones, perhaps representing a birth, marriage or some other joyous occasion.
Our community had its up and downs in 2017. We continue to see too many accidents on Sooke Road and the delay (again) of the new library, but Sooke also took giant step forward in what one day will be a new primary health-care facility. Development took on a feverish pace, and more people than ever have discovered Sooke.
The next year will bring it challenges too, and with a municipal election looming, it will no doubt an interesting one.
Already the politicians are aligning at the council table.
The first strike came a few months ago when Mayor Maja Tait changed where council members sat. It didn’t sit well for some councillors, with one glumly noting it was like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Former councillor Herb Haldane has made no secret that he plans to run again for council. (If you remember back in 2014 he lost by 1,264 in the mayoralty race to Tait).
Coun. Kerrie Reay announced months ago she would retire this year from council, after two strong terms at the helm.
Other councillors are playing their cards close to their chest. Coun. Brenda Parkinson is still sitting on the fence. Coun. Kevin Pearson is running again and the only thing he has to decide is whether he’ll take on Tait for the mayor’s chair. And it’s likely councillors Ebony Logins, Rick Kasper and Bev Berger will seek another term.
Others waiting in the wings: Jeff Bateman, Mark Whiteson, and Britt Santowski are considering runs at council seats.
All this makes for good politics, of course, but as the community steps into the future, residents need to determine what they want in that future. It’s why it is important to watch and understand local issues and politics.
After all, the future is ours.
Best of luck in 2018.