Outgoing council members rehashed what was a challenging year for the city in their final address Tuesday night.
Mayor Charlie Cornfield, who did not run for re-election, praised council for moving the city forward despite the economic downturn.
“I would like to especially thank council for their hard work and dedication,” Cornfield said at Tuesday’s council meeting. “This term on council was very complex, very time consuming and you rose to the occasion and worked hard and did a great job.
“We faced huge economic challenges and we faced them head on. We tend to be very critical of ourselves but I want you to know there’s nothing to be critical about, only to celebrate.”
Cornfield described all the positives and accomplishments of the past three years, including all the work that has gone into the Sustainable Official Community Plan, the green roof on City Hall, winning Communities in Bloom at the national level, involvement in Local Government Awareness Week, Spirit Square, and policies to encourage downtown revitalization.
“The one thing I’m most proud of that we did as a council was we paid off our debt, we didn’t borrow any new money and we finished projects on time and on budget,” Cornfield said.
“You have a lot to be proud of. The city has been well-served by this council,” Cornfield said, addressing the councillors. “I’d also like to thank city staff, a team of capable, highly-qualified professionals.
“Thank you for your dedication to serving the city, I know it hasn’t been easy.
“To the new mayor and councillors, the foundation is in place, but there’s more to be done. The city will grow and prosper. We’re going to pass the torch to you.”
Coun. Roy Grant, who has served on council for the past nine years, gave up his council seat to run for mayor, but his bid was unsuccessful.
Grant said although he won’t sitting at the council table, he plans to stay involved and encouraged others who ran but were not elected to do the same.
“Continue to be involved with your city, continue to strive for what’s best for your city and in 2014 get your name back on the ballot again, because eventually you’ll get to where you want to be,” Grant said. “There’s significant challenges that lay ahead and some serious decisions have to be made.”
Grant said it’s been a blessing to work with the current council and the entire community.
“It’s been a real honour representing all the city employees and all the residents,” a choked up Grant said.
Coun. Ziggy Stewart, who like Grant ran unsuccessfully for the mayor’s job, kept his farewell address brief.
“I’d like to thank everyone who supported me over the last six years,” Stewart said. “Anytime you sign up for this kind of job it’s demanding. It’s demanding emotionally, it’s demanding in ways you just can’t explain.”
Stewart also explained his behaviour at the council table, which he said may have come across in the wrong way.
“I think what people saw and was deemed as anger was just passion for the community,” Stewart said.
Coun. Claire Moglove singled out each of the three outgoing council members.
“Ziggy, I was on your campaign team when you first ran in 2005 and I want to thank you for the support you gave me when I decided to run for council in 2008,” Moglove said. “Thank you for the help you gave me, especially in my first year on council.
“You have a special voice on council that I don’t think can be replaced easily.
“When the community sees investment, in a sawmill or a pellet plant, whatever it may be, it will be thanks to your work on the Future of Forestry Task Force.”
Moglove also thanked Grant for his support.
“Roy, it’s been a pleasure to be on council with you,” Moglove said. “I always appreciated your support on areas I was interested in and could always go to you for advice.”
Lastly, Moglove thanked Mayor Cornfield, not only for his years as mayor, but for his time as councillor.
“Thank you for your support and the trust you showed in me and letting me run with different issues, in particular the hospital,” Moglove said. “I also appreciate your never-ending array of knowledge.”
Coun. Andy Adams acknowledged Cornfield for his never-ending commitment to Campbell River.
“Your worship, we haven’t always seen eye-to-eye but you are Campbell River’s biggest cheerleader and your passion to see Campbell River succeed is unwavering,” Adams said.
Cornfield was presented with a token of council’s appreciation – the ESPN Jeopardy game (Cornfield recently won a Vancouver Island tourism jeopardy competition between Island mayors).
Mayor-elect Walter Jakeway takes over the reins from Cornfield at the inaugural council meeting Tues., Dec. 6.