Devolin says new council reflective of community
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | Dec. 6, 2018|
Mayor Brent Devolin said 2014-2018 had been productive years at Minden Hills council with benchmarks moved.
Speaking at the township’s inaugural meeting Dec. 3, Devolin thanked the public for its participation and keeping council on its toes. He also thanked staff and said he looked forward to the next four years of working with them.
He also paid tribute to departing councillors, Jeanne Neville, who attended the meeting and Cheryl Murdoch. He added he is looking forward to working with new councillors, Bob Carter and Jennifer Hughey. Returning as deputy mayor for the first time is Lisa Schell, while Ron Nesbitt is back as councillor-at-large, Jean Neville in Ward 3 and Pam Sayne in Ward 2.
“I think in terms of age distribution here, gender, whatever, this is pretty balanced and I think we’re reflective of our community,” Devolin said.
He added, “I would say to the public, of the seven of us, there should be at least one, if you have a problem or concern or something that just ticks you off, reach out to one of us and help us act as your advocate in determining what we do and don’t do.”
Schell said she was honoured to be deputy mayor, replacing Murdoch. “I know I have some big shoes to fill. I promise you I will give it my all.”
She knows it’s not always a popular job, because not everyone will be happy with decisions. However, she recalled Peter Oyler advising her once “do for the many, not for the few.” She says she bases her decisions on what the majority of ratepayers and residents would want.
She also urged people to become educated on council issues. “This past election showed how much people actually aren’t aware of events, public meetings, and facts. Get the facts, folks. It’s so important to understand how your local government works and why we make the decisions we do.”
Carter joked “it’s a long time between the election and when you actually start, especially when you don’t know exactly what it is you’re going to be doing … and they haven’t given you any documents yet … I just learned the secret handshake in the hallway … it’s amazing what I have to learn.” He said he’d work with integrity and always try to do his best for the people of Minden Hills.
Hughey is looking “forward to working with everyone at this table. And I want to support this table. I’m definitely looking forward to learning as much as I can in the four years.”
Sayne said there is a heavy agenda ahead with a lot of decision-making. She added that science has proven that consensus is the best form of decision-making. “It’s not the most experienced person, the smartest person or the most articulate person in the room. I’d like to encourage more discussion, people coming from their positions and also for the community to add what they have in their perspectives. It’s the only way we’re going to make the best decisions for all of us.”
Neville is honoured and pleased to be on council for another term. She’s looking forward to working with the new members, who have "great ideas and lots of energy. “So, we have seedlings of projects on the go which I hope to see to fruition. And, hopefully we can do good things in this coming term of council.”
Nesbitt said he’s honoured and privileged. He said he loves working with council colleagues, the staff and the general public. “I just love my job.”
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.