Mayor Brian Bigger
December 2, 2014
Welcome to the inauguration of the fifth Greater Sudbury City Council.
It's wonderful to see so many of you here tonight, as we embark on this journey together.
I am proud and honoured to be here tonight, with all of you, and our new council, to lead the City of Greater Sudbury for the next four years.
This year's election saw a healthy rise in voter turnout, which I am certain speaks to the passion, we all share for our city.
To everyone who knocked on doors, held and installed signs, made phone calls, voted and convinced their friends and family to vote … I say, thank you.
You made Greater Sudbury a stronger city and reminded us of our shared values and aspirations.
I know this passion is shared by everyone here tonight, as well as our dedicated city employees.
I'd also like to take this opportunity, to thank everyone who was involved in the election process.
Staging an election, is a big undertaking, especially with the city implementing online voting for the first time.
To the new members of the City Council: Congratulations! I look forward to working with you, to champion this great city.
To the former members of the City Council: Thank you for your service to Greater Sudbury.
The theme of this election campaign was openness, transparency, and accountability.
This is what you are looking for.
So I say to you … we will deliver it.
We will deliver it, because we owe it to you and because you deserve it.
We will offer guiding principles, a clear vision, and goals that we can set, as we chart our course together.
Leadership, is ultimately about service to the people of this city … and sound and responsible decision making.
The principles that have guided me throughout my professional career and which drew me back to my hometow, … are the same ones that compelled me to run for mayor.
These principles are simple and direct:
- That City Staff, works best when they are given the tools to succeed;
- That our business partners deserve a city that believes in them and creates an environment to succeed, as well;
- That the citizens of Greater Sudbury should be proud of their city, their government and the people who work here. And;
- That while we may not always agree on the details of how to do the first three, we must never forget that we are all working together for the same goals respectfully.
During the campaign, I spent a lot of time in coffee shops meeting with citizens. I heard your stories.
I heard about the vision that all of you share, for making our city, even greater than it already is.
I, along with this council, want to deliver this for you.
Based on these expectations, I developed my platform.
It will guide my vision, over the next four years. I will be working with council and staff to implement this vision:
- We will bring openness, transparency and accountability to city hall;
- We will freeze taxes in the first year and make it easier for all of us to stay in our homes;
- We will strengthen our economy and create jobs, by building on our incredible mining sector’s knowledge, and championing the city abroad. This is imperative to our success and something I take very seriously;
- We will continue investing in our transportation infrastructure … from roads to public transit to providing free bus rides to seniors during off-peak hours;
- We will provide the highest possible standard of service to citizens … from children to seniors and everyone in between;
- We will protect our natural assets, including our 330 beautiful lakes and ecologically sensitive areas;
- We will make Greater Sudbury a more livable city, one that encourages art, culture, and the outdoors to all citizens;
- And last, but certainly not least … we will find new and creative ways to connect citizens to city hall … such as my new community engagement plan, Vision 2025.
You may think that these are big undertakings … and they are. They are going to take hard work and dedication.
We need to maintain a clear focus, and a clear vision of our future.
We also need to work together, as we have in the past, for the common good of the City of Greater Sudbury.
That’s why, in our first year together, I have two goals that will help chart a course for the next 10 years.
First, I will be engaging city administrators in the development of business plans to guide our operations and planning.
Budgets and business plans work hand in hand. I believe that before we reach into the pockets of citizens for yet more money, we should ensure that we have their priorities right.
Second, I am committing to host Vision 2025 – A Ten Year Look Ahead for Greater Sudbury.
Vision 2025, will involve all citizens, interest groups, community organizations, and businesses coming together to share their ideas about the future of our city.
Some strategic planning processes are already underway, such as economic development and community services, and I know, we will be able to work together.
This is vital to making sure the interests of all citizens are reflected in planning for the next 10 years.
We must approach our future in the light of our collective experience … but with a renewed focus.
The people of Greater Sudbury will have the opportunity to shape this great city.
Look for details of Vision 2025 to come forward in the new year.
To the City Council and city staff, we are jointly responsible for governing this city … and I pledge to work with each of you.
The jobs that you do at city hall every day, are vital to ensuring that the city functions and meets the needs of our citizens.
I look forward to an ongoing, positive relationship with all of you.
To our many valued partners in the community … I commit to working with you to reach your goals.
Together we will ensure our great city reaches its potential.
I challenge you to start thinking about what will make this city flourish.
To our Northern Ontario neighbours, I pledge that Greater Sudbury will become a leader – and your partner – on regional issues.
These commitments are an essential starting point for the journey we are embarking on tonight.
I am incredibly honoured to represent all of you.
That is why I will be presenting this city council with a charter committing ourselves to the highest standards of accountability and public service.
This charter will ensure that our decision making is done in the best interests of the citizens of Greater Sudbury.
I recognize how important it is to work together with council, as they represent the voice of their constituents, and I commit to meeting with them and their residents.
Let’s remember who we are:
We are a city of proud families, and neighbourhoods with big hearts and welcoming arms.
We are a city of high achievement, innovation and creative genius.
We are city of ambitions, and we have what it takes to make our ambitions come true.
We are a city of young people working hard in school for a future we can only imagine.
We are entrepreneurs in small start-ups, with big dreams.
We are hard-working parents making sacrifices daily so our children don’t have to do the same.
We are newcomers, looking for opportunity.
We are seniors hoping for a secure retirement and a safe place to live.
I am inspired every day by the people of our city … by your hopes, by your dreams, by your determination … and by our shared principles, vision and goals.
I am listening. And I will keep on listening.
And we will move Greater Sudbury forward together.
Thank you … merci.