A new mayor and council were sworn in at the District of 100 Mile House’s inaugural council meeting Tuesday, Nov. 8.
In front of a dozen members of the community and law enforcement, Mayor Maureen Pinkney took her oath of office followed by councillors Ralph Fossum, Donna Barnett, Jenni Guimound and Dave Mingo.
The agenda was light with Pinkney taking the opportunity to give her first speech as mayor.
“From the onset of the announcement to let my name stand as mayor, I have tried to establish a position of respect and commitment. In speaking with you at your homes and businesses, I asked and listened to what matters to you most,” Pinkney said. “Our broad goal is to be informed, to collaborate and build consensus on the issues and facts of our small community and the region. From this day forward the five of us represent every citizen of 100 Mile House, whether you voted for us or not.”
Pinkney said she was told people wanted a safe community, new housing options, diverse business opportunities, more recreation opportunities and vibrant downtown. Most of all they wanted a strong local government that is open and takes action on behalf of the people.
She thanked the community for trusting her with this vision and for electing such an experienced group of councillors to help her realize it. Pinkney said they will have to tackle many emerging issues including housing, homelessness and drugs.
“We are a small community with emerging urban problems,” Pinkney said. “We’d like to see these issues stopped in their tracks and eliminated.”
Pinkney acknowledged that many of these issues are caused by physical and mental disabilities and that properly addressing them will require the help of senior levels of government. She pledged to advocate for the community and get people the help they need.
Supporting the local economy and businesses will remain a priority for this council, Pinkney promised. She also pledged to invest taxpayer money in service of an overall goal to reduce the financial burden on homeowners.
“While we face many challenges we also have many opportunities,” Pinkney said. “This council will be builders of commerce and jobs, of community infrastructure, roads and sports facilities. Equally as important, we will be builders of a safe and connected community.”