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-Brian O'Leary

The first two years of the term has been a learning experience, however, I suppose I'll always be able to say that. I don't think you ever stop learning, but for me, learning the process was important. One of the obvious things I've learned about myself is how much I care about the city. I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from Jim McManaman Peter Lemon and Arlene Wright's experience, and even more fortunate they are the type of people to share their experiences. One of my goals as a councillor is to be as well prepared as Jim. The better prepared you are, the better your decisions are.
Finding ways for the city to grow is imperative and I think this council has had the courage to try things with that in mind. Moving ahead with the Sydenham Heights development, development charges holiday, and the Riverfront Precinct are good examples of that. Investing in the CP rail building in an effort to develop the harbour front is another, keeping in mind , development breeds development.
Making massive changes takes time, but we have certainly set the stage with some of our decisions. OPP costing, and saving $800,000.00 (plus) with service review is a clear sign that this council is prepared to change the way we spend money.
Most important of all, is how this council works together as a team. With my background, I understand leadership, chemistry, and team. With us, it starts with the Mayor, he genuinely cares about the city and has the ability to lead and have the full respect of council. He communicates with everyone, and doesn't get in the way of individual opinions. That develops the necessary chemistry to get things done. This council understands " Together We Accomplish More ".
Finally, the way this council works WITH staff is a credit to both council and Wayne Ritchie. The relationship is as strong as ever and this city gets a lot from their staff. Making the decision to renovate the city Hall is sending the message that we want our City Hall to be a great place to work and we care about their working environment. That, in itself, will pay dividends moving forward. Thanks.

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