Lake Cowichan’s Town Council, Cowichan Valley Regional District directors, Pat Weaver and Ian Morrison, as well as School District 79 Board trustee, Duncan Brown were sworn in last week to begin three-year terms.
Town Council’s ceremony happened in at Town Hall on Dec. 6 in Lake Cowichan, while Weaver, Morrison and Brown were sworn in on Dec. 8 in Duncan.
Familiar faces comprise Council
There were some familiar faces taking their oaths — in fact, it is the same six local politicians undertaking the job as three years ago.
Mayor Ross Forrest and councilors Tim McGonigle, Bob Day, Jayne Ingram and Franklin Hornbrook were all sworn in for the second time in front of a host of townspeople, bagpipers and the local RCMP.
During the ceremony’s invocation, Pastor Terry Hale opened up the event with some inspiring words, detailing what can be expected in coming years.
“We’re going to see the population grow, we’re going to see growth in tourism, we’re going to see it in the business realm as well. Lake Cowichan is a precious jewel that is about to be re-discovered,” said Hale.
He ended his speech with some advice for Town Council. Quoting Wayne Gretzky, Hale said, “Go where the puck will be.”
In the mayor’s address, Forrest expressed how wonderful a privilege it is to serve his community. And one that wouldn’t be accomplishable without his family.
“It is a great honour to serve our community and one which we couldn’t entertain without the support of our families. Many of my household duties and chores get neglected,” he joked.
Forrest is confident in his team and was content to be working with the same group of councilors into 2014.
“We have such different personalities and philosophies but because of our desire to do our best for the town we would work together as an unbelievable team to get the best results. Well, we have and we continue to do so,” said Forrest.
Forrest said it’s not always easy being a local politician but maintained he has always put Lake Cowichan first and will continue to do so.
“Not everyone likes our decisions but our choices are what we believe is right for Lake Cowichan,” he added.
The mayor also highlighted the fact that more is going to be expected of him and the council since they have collected some experience over the past three years.
“Our expectation level has been ramped up. We’ve grown a lot together in the past three years but still have many goals to achieve.”
Judge Keith Bracken was on-hand to administer oaths of office to Forrest, McGonigle, Day, Ingram and Hornbrook. Other special guests included bagpiper Frank Nichol and national anthem singer Katherine Worsley, who belted out “Oh Canada” before the swearing in ceremonies began.
Master of ceremonies, Pat Foster closed the proceedings with some kind words.
“The people of this town have chosen these individuals to govern locally for the next three years. It is a great honour and privilege to serve the community that we all love,” said Foster.
Foster also acknowledged the momentous commitment the mayor and councilors have taken on.
“You are the closest and most easily talked to level of government for the people of our community. They won’t hesitate to let you know when they aren’t happy with the decisions you make. And once in awhile they will let you know when they like your decisions,” she added.
Following the oaths to office, Mayor Forrest appointed his councilors to their new portfolios and committees.
Forrest appointed McGonigle as the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s director and the town’s representative at CVRD meetings.
“I’m excited. I was apprehensive at first to sit on that board but it’s a totally different animal than municipal politics,” said McGonigle. “You’re so constrained on what you can and cannot do financially. It’s an excellent opportunity.”
McGonigle indicated he would like to more closely work on regional tourism initiatives with the CVRD in his new term. He will also serve as the deputy mayor, Community Forest Co-op director and chair of the Finance and Administration Committee.
Other important shuffles on portfolio undertakings include Day replacing McGonigle as the Vancouver Island Regional Library director, Ingram will undertake the chair position of Sustainable Planning and Development Committee and Hornbrook will oversee Public Works Committee as chair.
CVRD and School Board oaths
Morrison and Weaver took their oaths of duty at the CVRD office in Duncan located on Ingram Street.
Brown’s ceremony was School Board District 79’s head office, however.
Newly elected Area I director, Pat Weaver thoroughly enjoyed the CVRD inaugural ceremony.
“I was totally impressed with the way it was organized, the interest from the public that was there and the high-quality of alternates appointed,” said Weaver.
Weaver is eager and excited to get down to work for the region. Although new to CVRD politics, Weaver’s local political resume as a former town councilor and school board trustee should help her absorb the role quickly.
“I feel this is a very important job and I’m totally looking forward to it. It’s a huge learning curve for me,” she’s added.