Welcome to the Lucan Biddulph Council for 2018-2022!
We have just finished taking our Declaration of Office. I hope that you have taken the time to read and digest the words we have just spoken. We have been entrusted with quite the privilege to serve our community in an elected official capacity. This honour should not be lost on any of us. Our community has handed us decision making capacity that will shape the character of Lucan Biddulph. Approached with the right mindset, this will likely be the most humbling experience of your life. We owe it to the residents of Lucan Biddulph to be humble in our decision making, to be open to conversation and to other opinions. As I look around the table I do not anticipate we will become a fractured group, but given the climate of today’s politics, I look to you and ask you, could we not be the face of a higher level of political discourse. In discussing the issues that will be presented to us over the next 4 years, we need to respect each other, we need to respect past councils and set the stage for future councils. We may not always be unanimous in our decisions, but we must always respect the process, the decisions made and that we realize together we are but one body of service. We owe it to the residents of Lucan Biddulph to communicate openly and effectively. We owe it to the residents of Lucan Biddulph to always be honest with them–even when they may not like or appreciate the message or decision that has been made.
Right now our residents are excited for the start of this new term of council, with new faces brings new perspective and ideas. An artist who has a knack for knowing his audience once said…”Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time.” If we take those words to heart then our residents will know that placing faith in our abilities to lead was not falsely given. And for reference purposes, that artist is Bruce Springsteen.
The next four years promise to be exciting and challenging. In my address four years ago, I quoted Herb Brooks…”Great moments are born from great opportunity.” I believed at that time we were entering into a time of great opportunity. I still believe that today. We have so many positive things going on in our community. The growth we are experiencing is something that Lucan Biddulph has not seen before. It shows no sign of slowing down. While this growth provides us opportunity it also comes with a cost. Infrastructure grows, must be maintained and in some cases expanded. One project this council will have to tackle is the expansion of our Waste Water Plant. This will be no small project, but will be one necessary to address the demands of growth.
My commitment at the beginning of our last term was to forge ahead with developing our Industrial Park, I am happy to say that we did that! We have commitments for lots and I know we are on the verge of this really taking off. We must be aggressive and utilize our economic development department to its fullest ability to market this park. Bringing small industry to Lucan Biddulph will be of great benefit to our community. This kind of investment has the promise of a tenfold return.
In the next few weeks, the front of the Community Centre will be returned to us and we in turn will turn this new exciting building over to the Y for the operation of a licensed daycare. This facility will be welcomed by families in Lucan Biddulph and the surrounding area. It will be a great employer with the promise of employing 22 at the height of enrollment. Of course with the completion of this phase, we must quickly turn our thoughts to the next phase. Our Parks and Rec Manager has recently met with Spriets to discuss the plans we have for the renovation of the Community Centre. These drawings will be presented to this council in the New Year. Deciding on how to proceed will be one of the first major decisions we will have to make. Our continued investment in the community centre will ensure that there is still a lot of life left in what has become a true community hub.
Unfortunately, we still have the traffic light issue at Saintsbury and Main. Four years ago I was confident we would have them installed by now. Unfortunately, that is not the case. I am encouraged by discussions I have recently had with our local MPP and Infrastructure Minister Monte McNaughton. My commitment to this project has not waivered. I will continue to work with administration, the county and ministry officials to ensure this project gets done and is a responsible project for the common taxpayer.
To engage our residents and keep them part of the process, we have to look for ways to communicate, to let them know of our discussions and issues of the day. This Council should turn to technology and invest in streaming our meetings or at the least taping them to publish on our website. This is 2018.
All of these exciting projects do not detract from the rest of the business of Lucan Biddulph. As a new council, we should revisit our strategic plan, to review the guiding tool–to ensure it is still a living document that works with our vision in 2019; to revisit what has been accomplished and to discuss what still lies ahead. Planning has already begun for Baconfest, we continue to explore ways to market Lucan Biddulph–letting all know what a great place it is to live, play and invest in. The public works department continues to invest in our infrastructure to ensure all is maintained and continues to run efficiently and effectively. The Parks and Rec Department, coming off the “high” of Hockeyville still has so much in front of them. New programming, maintaining and adding to our park infrastructure, working with the county and public works department on the implementation of the cycling strategy…there is much work to keep that department busy. And of course there are always issues that pop up sometimes with little or no warning that staff and council must address and adapt to.
Lucan Biddulph is fortunate to have the staff we do. Everyone from senior management, administration, to the roads and water departments, to our recreation staff–everyone works together to do the actual work that needs to be done. That’s why Lucan Biddulph runs effectively and efficiently. These people are our resources, we need to respect the work they do and the knowledge they bring to the table.
As a council, we must do our homework, be respectful of each other and our residents. We need to be open and communicate honestly about the decisions we make. I believe the people around this table, with the staff we have and with the Lucan Biddulph residents around us, we are up to any challenge that is in front us. The next 4 years will go by quickly. There is much work to be done. I look forward to working with you to get the work of Lucan Biddulph done. I hope you are excited, I know you are up to the challenge. To end with one more paraphrased quote from my favourite Boss…”The future is now. Roll up your sleeves and let your passion flow. The community we carry in our hearts is waiting.”