Over 100 people packed the alternate council chambers of the Tiny Township Community Centre Wednesday to bear witness of the inaugural term of council for the 2022-2026 term.
Following the electorate being piped in to a standing crowd, CAO Robert Lamb explained the unique set up for the event before introducing senior members of township management.
“For those of you familiar with the council chambers, you can actually see we’ve, in effect, tried to reproduce the council chambers here today,” said Lamb.
The council-elect each recited and signed the oath of office before being led to their recreated council seat by clerk Sue Walton.
The administration of declaration of office and oath of allegiance were recited and signed by each member of council: Councillors Dave Brunelle, Kelly Peter Helowka, and Steffen Walma, Deputy Mayor Sean Miskimins and Mayor David Evans.
Once the mayor’s chain of office had been placed around Evans’ neck by Walton, a land acknowledgement and various recognitions were made to the many municipal, regional, provincial, OPP, and cooperative organizations and associations in attendance from around the area; several previous mayors of Tiny Township were available for the inauguration as well to the audience’s vocal appreciation.
Council each took a few minutes to speak words of thanks in their first remarks as the municipality’s elected representatives.
Brunelle expressed gratitude to the many people who he spoke with on the campaign trail, noting that “there are a lot of people paying attention to municipal affairs”; Helowka shared thanks to the many people who motivated him through the years in the political realm; Walma thanked “a unique, eclectic, diverse group of people” over his previous eight years in council for providing perspective and “respecting the process” of municipal politics.
Miskimins made three requests of the community during his speech: To have patience during the learning period of the four new council members in their adjustment to their roles; to encourage community engagement within the municipality; and for council to represent those that elected them in.
Addressing senior management, Miskimins assured residents: “They are committed and passionate about our township. Each of them wants to do what’s right, and I am thoroughly impressed with how much each of them and their staff do to make Tiny an amazing place to live.”
When Evans took the spotlight, he raised the many issues that would be facing the township over the next few years, highlighting the previous council’s efforts during an unexpected pandemic while adding that many changes were unforeseen five years prior.
“The Township of Tiny has changed measurably,” said Evans. “The wind of change has created issues that quite frankly, we didn’t even know about five years ago.”
“We’re (council) all in it for the right reason,” Evans added, “and the reason is to help you help us to help our community and make it better, and we look for everybody to contribute to that.”
The mayor then read the requisite confirmatory bylaw which was passed unanimously by council, leading into a crowd-assisted rendition of O Canada, and finally an adjournment was passed.
The next regular meeting of council is scheduled for next Wednesday.
The inaugural meeting of council was archived and can be viewed in full on the Tiny Township YouTube channel.
Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, MidlandToday.ca