Mayor Steve Price is painting a rosy picture for the Town of Sidney in 2016 and beyond. And by extension, his positive outlook extends into the rest of the Saanich Peninsula.
In a sit down interview with the News Review, Price outlined and expanded upon some of the key speaking points out of his address during the town council’s organizational meeting Monday evening. That sets the agenda for the coming year and sees the appointment of councillors to various community and regional bodies. It also gives the mayor a chance to talk about what went right during the previous year.
Council, Price said, is ready to approve its updated strategic plan on Monday, Dec. 14. It outlines their big-picture goals and in Sidney those are growing the local economy, balancing the population between seniors and families and making sure Sidney is a quality place to live.
The devil is always in the details and there are sure to be people to remind council of their shortcomings in 2015.
Yet, overall, much of what Price talks about in his address shows that Sidney is not only rebounding from the economic doldrums after 2008, but is potentially thriving. A small boom in house building — with more projects waiting in the wings — has the potential to not only grow the population after a few years of decline, but see local businesses earn a larger customer base as a result.
Price says Sidney is open for business — and at least on the development side of the issue, that is true. The next few years of this council’s term of office will see if that sector bears fruit for the rest of the community.
Sidney, Price says, is changing — and that is nothing new. Over its history it has quickly expanded, rested and has grown again. The town is in the middle of a small growth spurt right now and local leaders are hoping to ride along with it and follow through on promises made in the 2014 municipal election.
Sidney is a great place to live and work, yet there are challenges ahead and plenty of decisions to come that council will have to answer for.
Their updated strategic plan certainly gives the local politicians enough talking points. It’ll be up to residents to make sure they follow through.