Final council meeting a love fest

Tributes abound for departing mayor and councillor

An agenda that was light on official business gave way to a series of tributes and thank-yous Monday, as Oak Bay’s outgoing council held its final meeting.

Mayor Christopher Causton cast his gaze downward and even turned a bit red as each councillor took a turn thanking him for his 24 years of service on council, including the last 15 as mayor.

“Your ability to bring people together has made you such a strong leader,” said Coun. Pam Copley. “You will truly be missed.”

“It has been a pleasure and an honour to serve under your leadership,” added Coun. John Herbert.

Coun. Hazel Braithwaite, who lost a close mayoral race to fellow council member Nils Jensen, was also acknowledged for her two terms of service.

“There’s nothing I’ve ever asked you to do that you’ve refused to do, or declined to do, or been slow to do, and that’s the mark of a professional, and I thank you very much for that,” Causton said.

Braithwaite and Causton each delivered prepared speeches, thanking municipal staff and council colleagues for their support. Braithwaite singled out Herbert for taking her under his wing as a new councillor and showing her the ropes.

“You’ve always been there for me … and even though we didn’t always agree on everything … I will always consider you a friend,” she said.

In addition to his list of thank-yous, Causton had advice for the incoming council, which includes three new members.

“Council has to remember that its ultimate responsibility is as keeper of the public purse,” he said.

He cautioned them not to let big-picture vision obscure the little details. “It is the small things that make the biggest difference.”

Members of the public who’d like to offer Causton their well-wishes in person can do so at the Sports View grill in the Oak Bay Recreation Centre on Monday, Dec. 5, from 2 to 4 p.m. Coffee and cake will be served at the free event.

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