Ahead of swearing in, a look back at the highs and lows of the outgoing city council
Published Thursday, November 22, 2018 5:03PM EST
As London turns the political page in December,how did the "mostly rookie" council of 2014 handle the growing pains and high expectations?
There were plenty of hugs, handshakes and farewells on Tuesday night as the 2014-18 city council wrapped up its final meeting.
Seven members will not return for another term, Mayor Matt Brown and Deputy Mayor Paul Hubert, along with councillors Bill Armstrong, Virginia Ridley, Bob Usher, Tanya Park and Jared Zaifman.
Brown says he’s proud of the council’s accomplishments.
“We have done many things to address concerns focused on the most vulnerable members of our community. I think we always want to see things move faster, wouldn't it have been great to see Dundas Place by 2018, wouldn't it have been great to see Back to the River move further forward, but stay tuned.”
This term of city council, like most, had its share of successes and disappointments since taking office.
Among the disappointments:
- a 59-day strike by city hall inside workers ended the post-election honeymoon
- Brown's affair with then Deputy Mayor Maureen Cassidy shook public confidence
- the integrity commissioner ruling council violated three parts of the code of conduct
- repeated delays preventing council from breaking ground on bus rapid transit
Brown campaigned with the slogan "Better Together,", but BRT has many Londoners feeling divided. Brown’s advice to the next council?
“We have made a commitment to a BRT system embedded within our London Plan and I would encourage everyone coming on the council to look very carefully at this issue.”
Among the successes:
- mostly respectful debates restored decorum in council chambers
- Springbank Dam will be decommissioned
- London Transit is free for kids and subsidized for teens and low income Londoners
- London opened its doors to Syrian refugees
- improved relations with nearby First Nations
Brown will return to teaching with the Thames Valley District School Board, but leaves the report card for his term up to Londoners.
“The community gets to interpret the work of this council sometimes it takes time.”
London’s new council will be sworn in at a public inauguration ceremony at the London Convention Centre on Dec. 3rd.
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