First, THANK YOU to the voters and residents of Oak Bay for your support in this election and for taking a sign, making a donation or walking with me during the campaign. The privilege to serve my community is never taken for granted and I feel an enormous responsibility to tackle the work with gusto, as one of your six elected Council members. Your trust and confidence in me are gratifying and appreciated more than words can express.
This election was especially challenging, given the previous two and a half years when public engagement and interaction with Mayor and Council were severely diminished due to the pandemic and aftermath of COVID. Not feeling well informed at times was a feeling I shared with the community and was reflected, for example, in a much lower voter turn-out this year, at 33% in Oak Bay. Oak Bay has a history of leading other municipalities in voter participation, usually well above 50%. But a sense of disconnection seemed to be a new reality.
In spite of these factors, there were five important All Candidates’ Meetings and my shout out to all the groups that hosted them by supporting local democracy in a meaningful way. Oak Bay has always been an engaged, intelligent and active community, through its many volunteers and organizations. We should be proud of the effort made by community associations to profile candidates and their platforms, providing important information for voters.
I am hopeful and enthusiastic for the next four-year term. The combination of skills, experience and dedication among those elected, combined with many talented municipal staff under the leadership of our new CAO Selina Williams, should create a solid foundation for a responsive and productive Council this term. Onward!