It was an emotional goodbye for outgoing Region chair Joyce Savoline last Wednesday as she chaired the last regional council meeting of her career. The long-time politician-- whose announcement last year that she wouldn't be seeking re-election shocked everyone around the council table-- fought back tears as she bid farewell to the colleagues that have become her second family. "I never looked at this as a job. It's more of a calling," she said. "It was a pleasure to come into the office every day." Savoline described her time as chairman as "such a pleasure, privilege and absolute dream." She also said if she's done anything right in her tenure, it's due to the people around her. "It's our successes," she said. "It's never about me-- it's about we." And even on her way out of office, she continued to sing Halton's praises like she always has, adding, "I'm still a very proud resident of Halton and always will be." Savoline went on to thank everyone who has voted for her over the years, along with past and present Region staff members and councillors. "I will miss you all very much, and carry on the good work," she said, pulling out a tissue to dab her eyes. Savoline began serving at the Region in 1982, when she started as a local and regional councillor for the City of Burlington. She then took over the chairman post in 1994. Several other members of council
who won't be returning for the next term also said goodbye, including Burlington Mayor Rob MacIsaac, who said he's had an amazing time over the past 15 years at the Region. He also thanked staff, describing its members as "models of professionalism," and his council colleagues. Oakville Mayor Ann Mulvale had four simple words to sum up her time on council-- "It's been a blast." She said she's taking away many memories with her and is grateful for having had the opportunity to serve the community. Outgoing Oakville councillors Janice Wright and Mike Lansdown also bid their fond farewells. And Milton Wards 2 and 4 Councillor Ron Furik simply extended his thanks to all councillors, staff and the people of Milton.