Public participation is key to the City of Burnaby's success, Mayor Derek Corrigan said in his inaugural address at the Dec. 3 council meeting.
"Whenever Burnaby embarks on a new policy, strategy or land-use plan, to ensure the plan is citizen-driven, we incorporate consultation that will involve and engage everyone in our uniquely diverse community in a meaningful and effective process," he said.
"It is not the fastest way to get things done, but it's the best way - and it serves our city and citizens well," he added.
As an example of the city's collaborative efforts, Corrigan mentioned the city's social sustainability strategy, which won a 2012 Planning Excellence Award from the Canadian Institute of Planners.
Another example of a collaborative success is Burnaby's waterways, he added, pointing out that chum salmon have returned to the city in record numbers this year, including in Still and Buckingham creeks, which have not had salmon for more than 40 years.
Corrigan's speech, which was delivered over the first half-hour of the council meeting, touched on the accomplishments of city departments and initiatives during the past year.
The city is currently revamping its transportation plan, he said, which will be "an integral part of our sustainability strategy and updated Official Community Plan."
Traffic changes in North Burnaby, to manage vehicles travelling to and from Vancouver, include measures that are a first for the city, he said, including the 40-km/hr speed limit for neighbourhood roads.
In the area of traffic safety, the city is also participating in Operation Red Nose, providing at least 15 volunteers to drive people home safely after a night of celebrating.
On the social planning front, Burnaby joined the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities A g a i n s t Racism and Discrimination this year, to "improve and protect the rights of all of our citizens," Corrigan said.
The city has also excelled in the area of social services, he added, pointing out that Burnaby was awarded the B.C. Child Care Award of Excellence in the Local Government category by the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Government.
The city has surveyed all licensed child-care providers this past year regarding the programs and the impact of full-day kindergarten, he said.
Burnaby has also expanded the way it communicates with residents, in terms of social media, Corrigan said.
He mentioned council meetings could now be viewed on compatible mobile devices.
Corrigan also praised the Burnaby Public Library for its efforts in that area, and mentioned the library's community outreach initiatives.
In the area of crime prevention, Corrigan mentioned that residential and commercial break-and-enter crimes are down seven per cent from last year, auto theft is down by 126 per cent, and assaults are also down seven per cent compared with 2011.
Corrigan also referred to development in the city this year, mentioning that building permits were up by 2.5 per cent.
Permit values were at $426 million by the end of October, he said, and are expected to bring in more than $600 million by the end of the year.