As he took the Ladysmith mayor’s seat for a record-setting seventh term last week, Rob Hutchins looked ahead confidently to the work that needs to be done.
In his inaugural address Dec. 5, Hutchins committed to working with and for the community in building the best possible town and to using wise judgement when spending tax dollars.
Hutchins reflected on numerous success stories from the past three years, including building the artificial turf field, relocating Ivy Green Mobile Home Park residents, developing the new social services centre on High Street, bringing public transit to town and creating a liquid waste management plan.
“I can speak of many more initiatives the town has undertaken in the last three years, but in short, an enormous amount has been accomplished by caring, committed people working together for a common purpose,” he said. “I want to express my deep gratitude for all those involved, citizen volunteers, town staff, members of council, community organizations and businesses, for their passion and commitment. As a community, we’ve been truly blessed, and we have much to be thankful for. However, we haven’t finished. Much more work is ahead if we’re going to truly reach our goal of becoming a resilient community.”
In this term, council must ensure it provides adequate financial and human resources to support the work of the economic development and environment commission, emphasized Hutchins.
Looking ahead, Hutchins explained that council must complete secondary sewage treatment and finish the upgrades to the water treatment system, as well as revisit the waterfront area plan, strengthen its relationship with its neighbours on the Stz’uminus First Nation and find the funds to upgrade community amenities like the fire hall.
“Much work is ahead, but I’m confident we will be successful,” he said.
During the meeting, councillors were appointed to various committees.
Coun. Duck Paterson will be the deputy mayor for 2012.
Council appointed Hutchins as Ladysmith’s director to the Cowichan Valley Regional District, with Paterson serving as alternate, and Coun. Steve Arnett was named Ladysmith’s director to the Vancouver Island Regional Library board.