03 December 2008

The Hopes and Fears

The inaugural meeting of the new Park Board was held on Monday night. It was an emotional meeting for many in the room. For the out-going Commissioners it was their last time around the table. For Allan DeGenova that meant the last time after 15 years of service. For the new Board it meant that five new Commissioners were sworn in to join the two who had been re-elected. The ceremony was brief but poignant. It is an awesome task to be elected to public office. The Park Board may be the 'junior' arm of civic government but it nonetheless is a decision making body with fiduciary responsibilities.

I have worked for the past 10 years to improve the parks and recreation system in Vancouver and to protect our green and public spaces. I have many ideas and plans and a few dreams too for the next three years. Many people have supported me and contributed to my election. I owe them a debt of gratitude and the assurance that I will continue to work for the same ideals I have been advocating over the years. Being on the inside will be a very different experience though, with different responsibilities and a much wider constituency.

I thought it was apt that the inaugural meeting is held in December at the beginning of the Christian Advent season. I am reminded of the traditional hymn 'O Little Town of Bethlehem'. One of the lines goes 'the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight'. I certainly felt a little of that on Monday night.

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