Saanich council’s new look was made official Monday night as eight incumbents and one familiar face were sworn into office.
The night was a milestone for Mayor Frank Leonard, who marked a quarter-century in public office. His first swearing in ceremony was in December 1986.
“I’ve been reminiscing. I’ve been thinking about my first night: who was there, how anxious I was,” Leonard recalled Monday prior to the meeting. “Everything seemed exaggerated to me. Everything seemed bigger than it was. Everything was heated and controversial. There’s such a contrast from here to there. Council’s operating so much different today than it was back then.”
During the recent election campaign, Leonard said the existing council was the best he’s ever worked with. And with seven incumbents and a former councillor returning, he anticipates more of the same.
Returning to council are Susan Brice, Judy Brownoff, Vic Derman, Paul Gerrard, Dean Murdock, Vicki Sander and Leif Wergeland. Also elected was Nichola Wade, who previously sat on Saanich council from 2002 to 2005.
The inaugural was attended by a number of former mayors, including Howard Sturrock and Murray Coell.
Leonard said a little bit of “tinkering” will be done at the administrative level, to deal with issues that were voiced during the election campaign. Those frustrations include such things as the development permitting process and traffic issues.