A final State-of-the-District address by Mayor Maja Tait last week spanned nearly 12 minutes, encompassing everything she has overseen with the current council over the previous four years, and she announced a unique, personal project she has worked on.
“It’s been the honour of my life to serve in this role, truly,” Tait told councillors.
The speech began sombrely but ended lighter.
Council was elected in October 2018 and soon faced the death of Coun. Brenda Parkison.
There were also homelessness issues, a heat dome, the death of three young men in a Sooke River accident, the death of cancer patient Hannah Day, opioid poisoning, and a war in Ukraine.
And then there was the COVID pandemic.
“It’s seemingly been one crisis after another,” Tait told councillors. “I’m just so glad everyone has hung in here.”
Tait credited council for working as a team and gave more lavish praise to district staff, who “calmly rose to the occasion” on numerous issues.
Tait pointed out that the work the district has done with the T’Sou-ke Nation is meaningful and impactful, and it’s why the municipality has the privilege of flying the First Nation’s flag at Municipal Hall.
First-term Coun. Megan McMath was among councillors who praised council and staff, calling it “a wild four years.”
“No matter how wild things got or controversial, the one thing that I was always grateful for this entire time is we’ve always stayed connected,” McMath said.
In a lighter vein, the mayor revealed that she had kept a gratitude journal for the past four years. She wrote something unique about each councillor after every meeting.
“It doesn’t take long to come up with good things to write about each of you,” Tait told councillors. “And it’s because of the contributions you make.”
Tait said she is also writing a book as a healthy outlet from her political work. The project started as a book of short stories and morphed into a full-length work.
“I had to weave a vampire into it with an idealistic mayor because I thought that would make it somewhat believable,” Tait said with a laugh. “I read it and laugh. Nobody else does, but maybe one day I’ll share it.”