by Dan Davidson
Dawson’s new council met for the first time in formal session on the evening of October 30, having decided that Hallowe’en (which would have been a regular meeting night) would be an inauspicious time to begin the new session.
Chief Administrative Officer Jeff Renaud administered the six point Oath of Office by which each council members swore:
“1. That I am a Canadian citizen;
“2. That I am not in any way disqualified from holding the office of (Mayor or Councillor)
“3. That I have not, nor will I have while holding office, any interest, directly or indirectly, in any contract or services connected with the said municipality, except such as I may lawfully have under the provisions of the Municipal Act;
“4. That I have not, by myself or any other person, knowingly employed any bribery, corruption or intimidation to gain my election;
“5. That I will not, without due authority in that behalf, disclose or make known any matter that comes to my knowledge by reason of my office; and
“6. That I will faithfully perform the duties of my office, and will not allow any private interest to influence my conduct in public matters.”
This was followed by the Oath of Allegiance to the Queen, during which each member of council swore to “be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.”
New to this ceremony, and not as contentious as it was three years ago, was the Mayor and Councillors’ Code of Conduct, which was agreed to by all members of the new council.
“ I … declare that as a councillor of the City of Dawson I acknowledge and support the City of Dawson Mayor and Councillors’ Code of Conduct and thereby commit to undertaking my duties in a manner consistent with the principles of the Code of Conduct at all times and in the best interests of the municipality and its constituents.”
So saying, Darren Taylor and Kyla MacArthur joined returning councillors Stephen Johnston and Bill Kendrick and Mayor Wayne Potoroka. Potoroka donned the gold studded chain of office for the remainder of the meeting.
Each of the newly minted councillors took a few moments to make a statement prior to beginning the regular evening business meeting.
Stephen Johnson led the comments, conveying his personal best wishes to those who were no longer at the table. Former mayor. Peter Jenkins, was praised for his wisdom, experience and dedication. Rick Riemer, who was the quiet man on the last council, was praised for his practical and proper comments when they were needed.
“In closing I welcome my new colleagues. I look forward to working with you and carrying out the good work the previous council began.”
Darren Taylor offered thanks to past council members who had worked on behalf of the town and thanked “the remaining members for their continued due diligence. I look forward to working with all of you in the best interests of the municipality.”
“It’s very exciting that we had an election,” said Bill Kendrick, referring to the fact that the last two elections have seen first a mayor and then the councillors, elected by acclamation.
“I’m happy to be back and I’m happy that there was an election to bring us here. I’m looking forward to making the City of Dawson an even better place to live.”
“I’m really excited to be working with this great team,” said Kyla MacArthur, “and I’m looking forward to the next three years.”
The new Mayor closed off the comments, speaking to both the dozen people in the gallery and the home audience via cable channel 12.
“I’ve been waiting to work with this team since 11:35 p.m. on October 18 and I’m so glad that we’re finally sworn in and getting down to the business of this town.”
Moving into the regular agenda, most of the items in the short meeting that followed were mainly housekeeping.
It has been decided to move regular council meetings back to Tuesday evenings after three years of competing with the Wednesday evening fire department practices. So regular meetings will be on the second and fourth Tuesdays each month.
Committee of the whole meetings will be held and televised on the first Monday and third Tuesday of each month. These are planning meetings and discussion around the table explained them with a food preparation metaphor. They were the meetings at which the ingredients were selected and stuffed into the sausage casings that would be presented for approval at the formal meetings.
Experienced councillors Johnson and Kendrick will take the first two one-month shifts as deputy mayor should the need arise. In the New Year, quarterly appointments will be made.