Saturday’s election clearly and indisputably shows the public is generally content with how Abbotsford is being run.
Abbotsford has a two-term mayor for the first time in decades. And it wasn’t particularly close, with Henry Braun growing his vote from 2014.
On the council side of things, incumbents always have an edge, but rarely do they prevail as decisively as they did this year.
The results are testament to four years during which, frankly, not too much went wrong. The city’s finances are in good shape. Its relationship with its poorest citizens is improved – but still has work to go. And the economy is doing pretty well.
But there is always room for improvement.
There have been real efforts at citizen engagement, and the city boasts about the rewards it has received. But things can still improve – particularly when it comes to reaching those affected by developments early in the process, when questions can be answered and issues dealt with.
The city’s residents also deserve to start to see the fruits of Abbotsford’s improving books. Pragmatism and caution are to be praised, but a growing city needs to keep up with the amenities demanded by its taxpayers.
The council results also show that the public want their representatives to raise at least a bit of a commotion about the things they care most about.
Sticking to a plan is important, and consensus government can work. But the public sees through politicians who never voice discontent or uncertainty. Council has four years to do another good job. Residents will be watching, and judging.