2010-2014 Inaugural Council Address

This evening I presented my Inaugural Address to Council.

My mandate for the next four years is to attract jobs to the community; protect the environment; build strong neighbourhoods; and put people first at City Hall.

In Guelph, we have a well deserved reputation as a community that considers the environment, the economy and the well being of people when making decisions. Ten years ago, the concept of the “triple bottom line” was new and might have been viewed as a barrier to business development. Today it is recognized as simply good business. It is the way we conduct the City’s business and it has become our strategic advantage.

I challenged my colleagues around the horseshoe to have Guelph set the standard in the Province for municipal governance. Our taxpayers want to know that their money is being spent appropriately and wisely. Our customers want to be treated fairly and with respect. Our employees want to be engaged by an employer of choice. And our community expects results.

“Business champions” will play an important role at City Hall to meet the business needs and respond to several business-led initiatives that are attracting jobs and investment to Guelph.

Community well being is an important aspect of the upcoming term. The Strategic Neighbourhood Engagement Framework commits City Hall to strengthen the role of neighbourhoods in community life. Collaboration on the development of a Community Wellness Plan will also assist the community to better utilize existing resources to meet the social needs of people – including seniors, children, people with disabilities and those living in poverty.

We need stronger measurement and reporting on environmental sustainability initiatives to ensure that City Hall “walks the talk” and the community understands how well Guelph is doing compared to other cities.

Meeting the needs of a growing community will require a willingness to step out of the old ways of doing business. It will be a challenge, but it is one that I know we can meet with intelligence, integrity, resolve and the commitment to community building that motivates us all.

To view the entire 2010-2014 Inaugural Council Address please click here.

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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