Six councillors – three re-elected and three newly elected, and Mayor Matthews were officially welcomed and sworn into office in a public ceremony inside council chambers at Town Hall on Monday evening and was then followed by a short organizational meeting.
Surrounded by a small group mostly of friends and family, the Mayor and each councillor took their turn and made an oath to serve the town to the best of their ability. The organizational meeting saw decisions like who would act as Deputy Mayor and dates were set for future meetings. Mayor Matthews appointed which Councillor(s) would sit on the various town committees. Once the short meeting was concluded, celebration commenced while cake was served.
This is the beginning of a four year term and Council members will get started right away with budget discussions. “My priority for the immediate future is to approve the 2015 budget with minimal impact to taxes,” stated Mayor Matthews in an interview.
Matthews expects that like any new team, it will take time to get to know each other. “I think the blend of new ideas, broader thinking and experience will create a dynamic new team that will produce great results for Chestermere,” says Matthews.
She added that she sees a focus for this term being on furthering land development as well as continuing to attract more commercial and light industrial. “We will be learning together as a team how to best serve our community for the future.”
Veteran Councillor Heather Davies says that she is happy the incumbents were elected because of the experience and knowledge and adds that she is looking forward to getting to know and work with the new council to form a vibrant leadership team for Chestermere.
When Davies was asked what advice she has for her newly elected colleagues she answered “You will not please everyone and resident’s will either be happy with a decision or not – do not take this personally,” then she added “Keep in mind to make the best decision for the community as a whole.”
Rookie councillor Jennifer Massig is excited about the potential for the next four years although she admits she has a lot to learn. “The next month is really going to be the eye opener as we hit the ground running on some pretty important issues for next year,” said Massig.
“Today, as I map out the goals and dreams that residents shared with me over the last while, I am first and foremost looking forward to inspiring our community to get further engaged,” affirmed Massig.
For now the newly elected council can relax, but not for long as their first Council Meeting will be held on Monday, November 4. Following that, council meeting will be held on the first and third Monday of each month.