The mayor and council elected by Thompson residents last week officially stepped into their roles when they were sworn in at the Nov. 2 inaugural meeting of council at City Hall.
Mayor Colleen Smook and seven of the eight elected councillors swore or affirmed their eligibility for and commitment to perform the duties of their office before provincial court Judge Curtis Briscoe and an audience of about 20 spectators, mostly their family and friends.
Coun. Kathy Valentino, now beginning her third term on council, was appointed by Smook as deputy mayor to act in her place when necessary for the next year.
Appointments were also made to the board of revision, the taxi commission, the building standards committee and the grievance committee.
Rookie Coun, Joyce MvIvor and returning councillors Earl Colbourne and Brian Lundmark were named as the council representatives on the board of revision, with Lundmark serving as chairperson.
Coun. Louis Fitzpatrick was appointed to the taxi commission alongside McIvor and Colbourne, and also to the building standards committee with Lundmark and Coun. Chiew Chong. Chong was also named to the grievance committee, as were Valentino and Coun. Sandra Oberdorfer.
All the board, commission and committee appointments were agreed to by consensus, rather than requiring votes, which may be a sign of a more harmonious council, at least to start the term.
Colbourne was not at the inaugural meeting due to illness and will be sworn in before an upcoming committee of the whole or council meeting.
In her opening remarks, Smook said that serving on council is a privilege.
“We are all very honoured and humbled to be in this position,” the mayor said, stressing the need for everyone to work together as best as they can. “I am only one of nine elected people together. We’re all going to be awesome leaders who move things forward.”
Although there are several major holdover projects from the last term, including water and sewer and road renewal as well as the drive to get a new pool built, Smook said all councillors can also influence the city’s direction.
“I’m sure council is going to add projects and their voices to be heard over the next year.”
The mayor also noted that is a first for council to have both an uncle and his nephew (Chong and Coun. Duncan Wong) and an uncle and his niece (Fitzpatrick and Oberdorfer) serving on council.
Councillors also approved the mayor and deputy mayor to have signing authority, alongside the city manager, acting city manager, chief financial officer and assistant chief financial officer. Any two of those people together can authorize routine spending on behalf of the city, though large amounts usually need to be tendered and approved by council as a whole.