Newly minted Mayor Andrew Jakubeit was enthusiastic in his inaugural speech Monday evening, full of promise, energy and hope.
Hope: In a lot of ways, that is what this municipal election was about. Hope for change, hope for solutions to problems plaguing the community and hope that this new council will be able to bring back a sense of optimism about Penticton’s future that the previous council seemed unable to spark no matter how hard it tried.
Jakubeit’s speech was filled with keywords, many of the same ones that we have been hearing for the last few years, like “vibrant.” To that, he added a few new ones, like “inspires” and “reignites.”
It sounded great, especially in front of an audience made up mostly of friends, family and supporters. But as good as they sound, keywords and speeches are easy to say, but not so easy to put into practice.
Jakubeit and council have four years of hard work ahead of them, and maintaining the kind of excitement and optimism from their first meeting is likely to prove an impossible job as they get drawn into the day to day process of making decisions for the city.
Decisions that, whether good or bad, are going to fail to satisfy everyone.
It is also important to remember that the people that make up city council, past and present, chose to put themselves forward, wanting to contribute to our community at the highest level.
For that, even as Penticton continues to critique the performance of council, they deserve our respect.
We hope they won’t make as many high-profile mistakes as Penticton has seen coming out of council over the last few years, but the important thing is they keep making progress on the goals they have set themselves to better the city’s economy, get tourism back on solid ground and address the other problems Penticton is facing.