It’s been an exciting week. 11 new councillors, a new mayor and a 10% jump in voter turnout. It’s hard to say how much of that was made possible by a new generation of voters, volunteers and donors but it certainly felt different from the 2010 election.
So how does this all look going forward? Here’s what I would like to see …
I’d like a council that acts like a governance board and not a bunch of micromanagers. They should set a strategic direction, let expert staff work out the details and then stick to the plan and support staff when conflicts arise. This alone would be a massive shift at City Hall.
I’d like a council who, as Mike Moffatt suggested, sets a small set of 6 month goals as part of a larger set of “big picture” strategies and makes those happen. You eat an elephant one bite at a time right?
I’d like a citizenry who work together to lobby for, gather support for, and work with council on those 6 month priorities.
I’d like us all to keep expectations for short term change in check. It takes a while for a new council to set a strategic direction for its term. So expect a “keep the lights on” budget for 2015, a strategic plan in mid 2015 and a long term budget plan for 2016. Your brains, your voice and your passion is critical during this period.
All of this is to say that, in spite of the fact that some of us might be tired and feel like we can hang up the “mission accomplished” banner, NOW is the time that we need to be involved. We need to figure out what are the long term, strategic initiatives that we want to see and to start moving towards that.
The next 6 months will be a lot of fun and a lot of hard work for everyone and we all need to be there.
Change is upon us. Are you in?