Monthly Mayoral Message: January 2023

Friday, January 20, 2023 – Happy New Year Sooke! I hope you had a happy holiday season. I am very much looking forward to the year ahead and the many exciting things happening in our community!

Mayor Maja Tait

Among these exciting things is a new initiative by your district council: we invite you for coffee! Drop in, say hello, enjoy a cup of coffee and a cookie, and let’s chat. We want to discuss ideas, hear your questions and concerns, and provide another way for you to stay informed on District activities. In January, please join us in Council Chambers at municipal hall on Monday, January 23rd at 1pm. In February, we look forward to connecting on Monday, February 27th at 10am (once again in Council Chambers). In March, we’ll head to Broomhill Playground on Monday, March 20th at 10am to meet with families enjoying spring break at the park.

I recognize these current sessions may be limiting for those working during the day, we’ll also be connecting at the Thursday Night Market and the Sooke County Market on Saturdays this summer.

For a complete listing of Chamber Coffee and Community Coffee dates and locations, please visit sooke.ca/events. While there, also check out the numerous other local events including Amber Academy’s Rock of Ages with two shows on February 4th at 2pm and 7pm, the Wounded Warrior One Day Run event on February 5th at 10am, Sooke Philharmonic’s Tea and Symphony on February 12th at 2:30pm and the Westcoast Sooke 10K on February 26th at 9am.

Regarding the Wounded Warrior Run on Sunday, February 5th, please note it travels from the Sooke Legion to Highway 14, and along Highway 14 from Otter Point Road to the four-lanes. From 10am to noon during the event, expect delays.

The Wounded Warrior Run raises funds and awareness for Wounded Warriors Canada, a charitable organization that provides life-changing and family-saving programs and services to members of our Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans, First Responders and their families who have been impacted by operational stress injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder. On behalf of Council, I extend my appreciation to our First Responders and their families, and thank the community for their patience while we show our support for this very important cause.

Throughout the year, events, road work and other projects may affect traffic in your neighbourhood. As the District is notified of these activities, they are posted to the District’s website at sooke.ca/traffic-advisories. Please use this page as a resource if you are wondering what is happening on a street near you.

As a growing community, road work is inevitable and, I hope, a sign of positive change as work is undertaken to expand sidewalks, improve transit stops and repair potholes. If you see a road concern, please let staff know. Sometimes valuable feedback is posted on social media rather than shared with our team. By reporting concerns to the District directly, we can provide a timelier response.  Report online at sooke.ca/provide-feedback or call 250.642.1634.

In responding to the needs of a growing community, resource allocation is critical. Our annual budget and five-year financial plan provide the pathway of project priorities to ensure we can appropriately respond to the needs of Sooke. Please know this conversation for the 2023 budget is underway.

Last month, I let you know about community service agreements as the next step in the 2023 budget conversation (which began in the summer with the citizen budget survey). The budget conversation continues at the February 21st Committee of the Whole meeting. Another opportunity for the public to provide input on Budget 2023 will occur at a spring budget open house. I will let you know as these details are finalized. To follow the budget conversation, please visit letstalk.sooke.ca/budget or subscribe to our monthly electronic mailing list if you have not already done so.

As the year gets started, I look forward to continuing the work of responding to the needs of a growing community. It’s challenging, rewarding and inspiring thanks to the community members whom I have the honour of serving.

Let’s continue to connect: over coffee, at public meetings and community events throughout the year. I’m here to listen, respond and work with you in meeting the needs of residents today while also planning for future generations.

Warm regards,

Mayor Maja Tait

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