Quesnel’s new city councillors took their Oaths of Office Nov. 6 in Council Chambers at City Hall.
All six councillors, new and old, and Mayor Bob Simpson took their Oaths of Office, swearing (or affirming) to perform the duties of their office “respectfully, faithfully, and with integrity.”
In conjunction with the oath, they also signed a code of conduct.
The oaths were administered by judge Victor Galbraith.
In Mayor Simpson’s inaugural address, he spoke of the work council will be doing moving forward. “For those who felt the previous council worked quickly and got a lot done, put on your seat belts,” says Simpson. “You haven’t seen anything yet.”
He says the last four years laid the foundation for the “unprecedented” Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic, compounded by two back-to-back wildfire seasons, by restructuring the City’s fiscal framework, and running the re-branding initiative, the First Nations reconciliation initiative and major investments in core infrastructure and new amenities.
Now, he says, the new council has the “opportunity” to: build on the success of the Reid Street Project; continue to work with the Lhtako Dené Nation on the development of a new First Nations Cultural Centre at Ceal Tingley Park; work with the province to ensure the proposed North South Interconnector is built; work with the province and Northern Health to realize the proposed new ICU and Emergency Department at G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital; work with School District 28 to get a new junior school, and improve all local schools; work with B.C. Housing, not-for-profit housing agencies and private developers to implement a housing strategy; and work with the province and the forest sector to see the reinvention of the forest industry and to collaborate on the rehabilitation of the local forest land base.
The Acting Mayor schedule was also decided, with Councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg as Acting Mayor from January to June, 2019, and Councillor Scott Elliott as Acting Mayor from July to December, 2019.
Council appointments to standing committees also occurred. Standing committees have a two-year term before new appointments are made.
The Financial Sustainability ad Audit Committee will be chaired by Mayor Simpson until Oct. 2020. It will also include Coun. Vik, Coun. Martin Runge, city manager Byron Johnson, and deputy city manager/director of corporate and financial services Kari Bolton.
The Policy and Bylaw Committee will be chaired by Coun. Scott Elliott until Oct. 2020. It will also include Coun. Tony Goulet, Mayor Simpson, deputy city manager/director of corporate and financial services Kari Bolton and manager of legislative services Gina Albers.
The Executive Committee will be chaired by Coun. Roodenburg until Oct. 2020. It will be made up of Coun. Ron Paull, Mayor Simpson (who will act as the alternate chair), city manager Byron Johnson, and Coun. Goulet (alternate member).
And finally, the Public Safety and Policing Committee will be chaired by Mayor Simpson until Oct. 2020, and will also include Coun. Vik, Coun. Goulet, city manager Byron Johnson, and Quesnel RCMP Detachment Commander Staff Sgt. Andrew Burton.