Premier John Horgan (centre), flanked by Coun. Denise Blackwell and Coun. Winnie Sifert, stopped by Langford council chambers Monday to present them, along with Langford Mayor Stew Young, special service awards. City staffers Trina Cruikshank, Matthew Baldwin and Sharon Martin were also honoured for dedicateing more than 20 years to the city. (Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff)

Premier praises Langford council for dedication, commitment

John Horgan presents awards for 25 years of service

Three members of Langford council received a special honour at Monday’s meeting.

Premier John Horgan presented Mayor Stew Young, Coun. Denise Blackwell and Coun. Winnie Sifert with special service awards acknowledging their 25 years on Langford council.

Young, Blackwell and Sifert were all elected to council when Langford first incorporated in 1992. Young was elected mayor in 1993 and again in the following seven elections.

“It’s an extraordinary accomplishment,” Horgan said, acknowledging other long standing councillors as well. “To have that much dedication and commitment to your community is absolutely unparalleled and the things you have done … it just keeps getting better and better.”

Horgan noted over the years he’s been able to get to know each of them and even had Blackwell’s and Sifert’s election signs on his lawn during that first election.

“On St. Patrick’s Day in 1992 I had the good fortune of buying into Langford … and it’s been the best 25 years of my life,” he said. “It’s been transformative, I raised my family here, I became a member of the legislature here, I became the premier here … all of the positive things in my life and in Langford were a result of the work of the people that occupy these desks.”

As a Langford resident, Horgan noted he takes pride in promoting his hometown whenever the chance presents itself. “One of the things I think I enjoy most about being premier is how many times I can say ‘Langford’ in a speech … It’s a fantastic success story and 25 years ago, I must confess coming from Saanich, I did not see it working out this way,” Horgan joked.

Young was quick to acknowledge that the success of the city is due to a large team comprised of all council members and City staff. “I can tell you it was about time we started making those changes 25 years ago and I’m very happy and very proud to have a team behind me that works so hard.”

Speaking to Blackwell and Sifert he added, “it’s not just about the length of service, which is a huge accomplishment, but what you were able to do in 25 years is just absolutely amazing.”

City staff members Matthew Baldwin (director of planning), Lorne Fletcher (manager of bylaw services), Sharon Martin (administration), and Trina Cruikshank (land development assistant) were also recognized for their 20-plus years of service to the city.

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