2006 Inaugural Address - December 4, 2006

Your Honour. Members of Provincial Parliament, and Council. Ladies and gentlemen. Friends and family members. Thank you for attending the Inaugural Meeting of our new Council.

Our collective commitment to Oakville assures us all of a bright future. How could it not, when what we call home is a community as diverse, as talented, as wealthy in ideas and experience as Oakville. We will be calling on all members of our community to help create and sustain our town's bright future.

We live in a community of people of great and diverse achievement and even greater promise. Our community of excellence lifts us up as we on Council seek to serve Oakville's needs.

The opportunity to serve you as your Mayor is exciting. You can count on all my energy and commitment to advance our town and achieve our shared goals and face our challenges.

Over the past two weeks, there has been an energetic outpouring of warm appreciation and high expectations and inspiring ideas from our community, from our town staff, and from new and returning Members of Council.

You may want to know how we will translate into reality the vision that has brought us all together.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a team to reach a goal. My aim will be to listen, to lead, and when possible, even to inspire our team.
Together, we now will create a game plan, a plan of action for the next four years. Our plan will deliver on the vision of a more Livable Oakville that the voters endorsed in the recent election.

Our plan to realize the vision for "Livable Oakville" first will benefit current residents. It also will provide for the future residents we will welcome over the years ahead.

We will have the new community facilities we need so we and our children have access to recreation, the arts and culture and social interaction that creates and sustains a community.

We will have people-first planning that protects and preserves our neighbourhoods and makes certain that growth benefits all residents.

We will spotlight the real costs of growth for our community. We will ensure that those costs are met by those who reap the benefits.

We will protect, preserve and enhance our environment. These are words to which our Official Plan has long committed us. These will be the words by which we will test our decisions.

We will attack the causes of traffic gridlock. We also will protect our neighbourhoods from traffic impacts that rob them of the quiet enjoyment we all expect.

We will work within the town's fiscal ability. We will work to assure that the Region of Halton, of which Oakville is a major part, will respect its fiscal limits, too.

We will put the town's fiscal house in order. Your talented town staff and we, your Council, will create a budget for 2007 that clearly sets out our current fiscal situation and plans. We will control and manage our budget responsibly.

We will create a long-term capital forecast to identify the major capital building projects that the town will require over the next 10 years. We will update it annually.

And we will share all of this with the community. You will have enough time and information to make meaningful contributions to your town's plans.

We on your new Council building positive working relationships and we will work together cooperatively to achieve the goals you have chosen. You will see us demonstrate to each other and to public delegations the power of positive listening. All sides of discussions will experience courtesy and respect.

We will work hard to be certain our decisions are understood in terms of their benefit to Oakville. We all want you to have confidence that when we make a decision as Council, it will be in the best interests of the entire community.

The success of Oakville will be based on more than just the efforts and decisions of this Council as we work to lift us up as a community.

Oakville's success as a community also depends on the contributions of thousands of volunteers who do incredible amounts of work across the town we all love. Their acts of charity, mercy, and involvement lift us up as a town.

Oakville's success is also based upon the daily hard work and creative inspirations that drive the success of our residents and businesses. We recognize that they, too, lift us up.

We encourage each of you to look for opportunities to get involved and serve your community. You have heard the saying, "When a lot of people do a lot of little things, big things happen." Together, we will make big things happen for our remarkable town!

On behalf of all members of Council, thank you for the chance to work for you. All of us on your 2006-2010 Council are dedicated to making a difference for you and our future generations.