The end result of Saturday’s civic election confirms what many observers have said about Saanich.
All in all, things are pretty good here. Crime is low, taxes are not as bad as they could be and most municipal services seem reasonably well-run.
At least that’s the general consensus of those people who either voted for more of the same or decided to skip the polls all together because nothing compelled them to demand a change.
Voter turnout was up five per cent, but that still only represents about one in four eligible voters. Does this mean that, as a community, we’re disengaging from the democratic process? Probably not. Those three out of four voters who didn’t vote remain something of a sleeping gorilla.
Looking back at the lead up to the election there were plenty of indications that no real effort was being made to rile citizens into anything resembling revolutionary fervour.
At all-candidates meetings, the main message that came out of what initially promised to be an exciting mayoral race was that both Frank Leonard and David Cubberley really like it here. And while most of us who live here feel the same, the real challenge for Saanich is to avoid complacency.
Fortunately, we’re also home to many passionate individuals who truly feel there’s room for improvement. Which is why we salute Rob Wickson, Jesse McClinton, Harald Wolf and Ingrid Ip. Though they weren’t elected, we hope they’ll continue to take an active interest in council’s affairs.
With development pressure, traffic problems and huge budget items looming, council needs to be mindful their mandate also means they must stay accountable.