Langford’s new councillors deliberately slowing down after urgent campaign
The fast pace of the campaign has given way to a slower negotiation of priorities and resources
The Westshore talked with Kimberley Guiry, a Red Seal cabinetmaker, mother of two, and first-time councillor to get a sense of how the first few weeks in her new seat have been. The hardest thing so far? Slowing down.
“We stepped out of the election with a lot of urgency and with fairly high momentum, so it's been hard to not jump in and get to work. It’s hard to sit on your hands,” Guiry said.
She says she would like to be getting started on everything on her platform, which included making a framework for neighbourhood associations, creating an urban forest strategy, review development design guidelines and development cost charges, create an online development tracker (which could make this one obsolete), and more.
But learning the ropes and collaborating between all seven politicians’ priorities has forced a slower pace.
This is the first time Langford city staff have needed to orient a fully new council in 29 years. Each department is hosting a “deep dive” meeting to explain what they do and what they’re working on.
Pretty much all of the information is new, but the amount of time it takes to get things done is perhaps the most important—things like a review of the Official Community Plan, which several councillors promised to give a fresh consultation. That, they’ve found out, is a multi-year process. Each of the newly elected council members have had a list of things they promised to tackle if elected, and they’ll all take up time and resources.
“We have a lot of work we'd like to do, but all of that work has a cost, whether it’s financial, or that doing one project might mean we don't have the resources to do another,” Guiry said. She expects council will develop a strategic plan to prioritize their projects for their term.
Four years is starting to look pretty short.
Langford’s next council meeting is scheduled for Dec. 5, 7pm.