Nov. 6, 2018

Valemount Inaugural Council Meeting

Dianne St. Jean
Left to right, Councillor Sheri Gee, Councillor Hollie Blanchette, Mayor Owen Torgerson, Councillor Donnie MacLean and Councillor Pete Pearson.
Left to right, Councillor Sheri Gee, Councillor Hollie Blanchette, Mayor Owen Torgerson, Councillor Donnie MacLean and Councillor Pete Pearson.
Dianne St. Jean PHOTO

The meeting was opened by Mayor Jeannette Townsend.

Before giving her final comments, she gave special mention to the attendance of Dan Hardy, Simpcw First Nation, Chair of the Regional District Fraser-Fort George (RDFFG) Art Kaehn, RDFFG Area H representative Dannielle Alan and newly-elected Mayor of McBride Gene Runtz.

Townsend then thanked the councillors individually for representing the best interests of the citizen of Valemount for the past four years, and serving on various committees. She added further that at times difficult decisions had to be made and thanked Council for showing wisdom in those decisions. 

Afterwards outgoing councillors had an opportunity to comment and all expressed gratitude for serving the public and working with each other.

The Oaths of Office were then executed, with Owen Torgerson as Mayor, Incumbent Councillor Hollie Blanchette retaining her seat, and new councillors Sheri Gee, Donnie MacLean and Pete Pearson taking their seats.

Mayor Torgerson then presented gifts to outgoing council members, and gave honourable mention to Mayor Townsend for her service and her outstanding example.

Appointments for the new council are as follows: Mayor Torgerson to the RDFFG Board of Directors, with Councillor MacLean as alternate; Mayor Torgerson to the NDIT Prince George Regional Advisory Committee with Councillor MacLean as alternate; Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives Program and Affected Areas Program (CBT/CIP AAP) Adjudication Committee to Councillor Sheri Gee.

Following recommendations the schedule for Deputy Mayor was determined on a rotation basis of each councillor in alphabetical order for each consecutive month.

In Public Closing comments, former Mayor Jeannette Townsend stood and once again addressed Mayor Torgerson and new Council, affirming her trust in their ability to keep Valemount growing. She also chided at the end that she is also happy that she will no longer be blamed for potholes.

Dannielle Alan also stood and congratulated the new mayor and council and stated that she looked forward to working with them, and closed her remarks by commending Mayor Townsend for her work and especially her example, as they sat on the RDFFG Board together. Mayor Torgerson followed up again in re-iterating the comments in honour of Townsend.

After a few more items on the agenda were passed, a photo session followed and refreshments were served. 

The event was well attended by the public, with Chambers being filled to capacity.