Dianne St. Jean
McBride’s new mayor Gene Runtz (seated) with councillors (left to right) Rosemary Hruby, Lucille Green, Diane Smith and Allan Frederick.
McBride’s new mayor Gene Runtz (seated) with councillors (left to right) Rosemary Hruby, Lucille Green, Diane Smith and Allan Frederick.
Dianne St. Jean PHOTO

The Village of McBride held its inaugural meeting on the evening of Monday,

November 5 at Council Chambers, with a full house in attendance.

Proceedings began with CAO Sheila McCutcheon taking Oaths of Office from Mayor Gene Runtz and Councillors Allan Frederick, Lucille Green, Rosemary Hruby, and Diane Smith.

Next on the agenda were the Council committee appointments. These were determined by nomination and vote. The results are as follows:

As recommended by Administration, Acting Mayor appointments were determined by alphabetical order, allowing each Councillor equal time and opportunity to serve as acting Mayor as has been done in previous years.

The following appointments are as follows: Councillor Frederick, Nov. 6, 2018 – Nov. 5, 2019; Councillor Green, Nov. 6, 2019 – Nov. 5, 2020; Councillor Hruby, Nov. 6, 2020 – Nov. 5, 2021 and Councillor Smith, Nov. 6, 2021 – Nov. 6, 2022.

Previous to Council appointments, Mayor Runtz gave a brief message in which he stated that his two main objectives are working together and economic development.

“This means working with other communities and groups,” Runtz said, to which he commented that he has spoken with newly-elected Valemount mayor Owen Torgerson in this regard. Torgerson was in attendance at the inaugural meeting and was introduced to the attending public by Runtz.

Aside from working with Valemount and other outside groups, Runtz stressed the importance of acknowledging the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, and then proceeded with acknowledging that village proceedings were taking place on Lheidli T’enneh territory, adding that this will now be protocol before each meeting.

In order to kick-start ideas for economic development and job creation, Runtz wanted to begin by organizing a Steering Committee to this end, and commented that he was pleased to discover that the Village is already in the process of looking into an economic development grant for tourism development. He would like to see the McBride and area economy diversified rather than being dependent primarily on the forest industry

The next order of business was the Council community liaison positions appointed by the mayor. Before finalizing each appointment Mayor Runtz first asked each council member if any had a preference.

The appointments ended up as follows: McBride Community Foundation Endowment Fund Committee – Councillor Frederick, with Councillor Smith as additional delegate. There are also two additional delegates from the public to be determined at a later date; McBride & District Chamber of Commerce – Councillor Hruby, with Councillor Smith as 2nd delegate; Councillor Smith was appointed over Community Health and McBride Old Age Pensioners Organization.

Correspondence was then received, in which was a congratulatory note from MLA Shirley Bond to the candidates.

An informal gathering was held after the meeting was adjourned.