Friday, June 14, 2024

Victoria’s newly elected mayor and councillors to be sworn in this Thursday


After three weeks of waiting in a sort of limbo state, the mayor-elect and councillors-elect will be sworn in this week. 

The inaugural Victoria city council meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday morning. 

“Tomorrow is a ceremonial, swearing-in day that’s just a kick-off to a new mandate of council, so there’ll be no business,” councillor-elect Matt Dell told Victoria Buzz.

To begin the ceremonial council meeting, the mayor and council-elect will be led into the Council Chambers by the Lekwungen Traditional Dancers then a land acknowledgement will be given by Songhees Nation member Brianna Bear. 

After the acknowledgement, the Honourable Regional Administrative Judge Carmen Rogers will administer the Oath of Office to the newly elected mayor and eight council members.

To finish the inaugural council meeting, mayor-elect Marianne Alto will deliver an inaugural address. 

“The big thing tomorrow is that we haven’t been able to receive any information yet. So even though we won the election three weeks ago, we can’t receive anything from the city,” said Dell.

“Once we’re sworn in, that allows the staff to actually be able to brief us on what’s going on around the city.”

“I haven’t seen my offices yet, I don’t know where the bathrooms are, I don’t know where the light switches are, I don’t have an email yet. So tomorrow with the official swearing in, once we take that oath to the community, then we’ll get that.”

Dell is a newcomer to the Council Chambers and although he hasn’t received anything from the city yet, he’s been preparing on his own time. 

“I’ve been reviewing a lot of the public information like the Official Community Plan, the 2019 to 2022 Strategic Plan, the Victoria Housing Strategy. Those are all big documents and I want to make sure I’m up to speed on those,” the councillor-elect told Victoria Buzz.

“I’ve also been spending a lot of time learning Robert’s Rules of Order and reading books on governance and best practices around that.”

The first meeting where official city business will be done will take place on Thursday, November 10th. With seven out of eight councillors being new to the role, the newly elected council won’t be rushing into anything. 

“After talking to the mayor-elect and the city staff, there’s a bit of a desire to slow down in these first few months,” saidDell. 

“And make sure we have time to find our footing and make sure we have time for a really thoughtful, well thought out strategic plan.”

“That will be the overall goal, is a slow and thoughtful beginning to the new term to make sure we set clear and pragmatic direction for the city.”

“There’s so many irons in the fire already,” added Dell. “There’s so many big projects already in the works that the city staff have ongoing and we need to be briefed on that rather than showing up pretending like we know all the answers.”

The inaugural council meeting will be streamed online from the City of Victoria’s website, as will all council meetings to follow. 

Curtis Blandy

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