The beginning of a second term (T2) in any politician's career provides both an opportunity for reflection, and in some respects a fresh start. In my own case, there will also be three new faces staring back at me from across the table/room every fortnight. Each of them bringing new ideas, strengths and different perspectives. The content and context of our deliberations will most certainly change as a result. I have to say that I am more than pleased with the new group. We have quite a diverse mix of experience, skills and talent encompassed among this new team. I am further impressed with the caliber of new representatives across our region. By all accounts, the expectations of the public are that this next term - should be a "game changer".
Looking forward, there will be opportunities afforded to the Council of 2014-18 that did not exist for the last group between 2011-2014. It is my sincere hope that these opportunities are viewed as such by our fellow politicians across the region (and I believe they will be). Chief among them; the opportunity to put the past behind us and start anew. Working together to resolve outstanding issues such as recreation funding and boundary expansion will be an early test of our collective resolve to find a better way and come to agreements that are mutually beneficial. I believe this is eminently possible and have high expectations that it will come sooner than most anticipate.
If the 97th Inaugural meeting of Trail City Council is any indication, the level of community engagement also portends to be very high throughout this term. Given the higher than normal turnout at the polls this year, I was not surprised to see such an impressive turnout for the inaugural meeting. Over 135 residents and guests (including local officials from neighboring communities) crowded into The Riverbelle Monday night, to witness the swearing in of the new council, say goodbye to our three departing Councillors and hear Mayor Bog's final proclamation bringing his 27 year career to a close. The anticipation amongst the crowd was palpable. There was a sense in the air that a new era in local politics had begun. The Hon. Judge Sperry presided over the ceremony as we all took our respective Oaths of Office individually and we proclaimed to God, country, and Queen to dutifully uphold the office to which we were elected. Mayor Martin closed the ceremony with his first address to the people of Trail, where he re-iterated his vision for the future of the Silver City, along with plans for new partnerships and teamwork that will be required to accomplish that vision.
It was in fact a new beginning. An evening filled with promise for the future and a type of sincerity that is uncommon at political events. I left the gathering with a swelling sense of community pride and great optimism for what I believe we are capable of achieving together over the next four years.
Now we must roll up our sleeves and the hard work begins ...