I had another opportunity to meet some of you in an informal setting where I listened to you express more of the issues that are important to you. We exchanged ideas and views and I appreciated your comments and questions as I continue to learn more about what’s important to our Oak Bay community.
One resident expressed concern about not wanting Oak Bay to change, that what this resident loves most about Oak Bay must be protected and preserved — quiet streets and stable neighbourhoods, accessible pedestrian walkways, paths and trails, trees, clean air and environmental protection, cycling and other modes of transportation, a vibrant volunteer community and accessible programs and services to meet the changing needs of families, seniors and youth, to name a just a few.
I share and understand this resident’s feelings about what we value in Oak Bay and the real change I hope to bring to the community if elected is, simply, how local government does its business. In other words, I want to see a new Mayor, Council and municipality more directly engaged with its residents, more inclusive in its decision-making and more open to sharing information.
I don’t want to change Oak Bay’s character; rather, I want to change the character of Oak Bay’s local government so that you, as residents, feel more engaged to help guide decision-making and set community priorities. I want to see such improvements as better accountability to taxpayers, greater outreach to residents at all levels of the municipality and a more proactive approach to regional cooperation, including wider delegation of CRD Council appointments and expansion of volunteer municipal committees.
Finally, I have learned through experience that “Change is a process, not an event” and that those most affected must be part of the change we want to see. Stay tuned…