The City of Nanaimo’s new council is now in place.
Mayor and council were sworn in to office at an inaugural council meeting Monday, Nov. 7, at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.
The local government election Oct. 15 returned Mayor Leonard Krog to office, joined at the table by councillors Sheryl Armstrong, Paul Manly, Ben Geselbracht, Ian Thorpe, Erin Hemmens, Janice Perrino, Tyler Brown and Hilary Eastmure.
Members of the previous council who were not re-elected or who did not seek re-election were presented with gifts and said a few words. Don Bonner said it had been an honour and privilege to serve as a councillor and assured the newcomers to the table that council business would get more interesting after the inaugural meeting.
Zeni Maartman praised the work of the previous council and asked the next council to begin to realize the vision of the Reimagine Nanaimo city plan.
“Create those action plans and build a green, connected, healthy, empowered and prosperous Nanaimo,” she said. “We’re counting on you.”
She added that a mayor and councillors don’t do the work alone and any goals will be accomplished alongside other community members, partners and stakeholders through collaboration and co-operation.
Jim Turley said he felt that the previous council was able to build a better working environment at city hall.
“While my fellow councillors and I didn’t agree very often on things, we always agreed to disagree respectfully,” he said.
Mayor Leonard Krog talked about the city’s growth and its potential, mentioning the pace of development and also the proliferation of opportunity that he said has turned Nanaimo into a place people want to live, work and age in place.
He thanked those who participated in the local government election and said it is an honour and privilege to serve on council.
“I am excited to say to you, we are moving ahead, we are going to work together…” Krog said. “You did a pretty good job in picking your council – we’ll try not to disappoint.”
After the oaths of office and speeches, the only agenda items at the meeting were to confirm election results and assign board positions. Krog, Armstrong, Manly, Geselbracht, Thorpe, Hemmens, Perrino and Brown will be the municipal representatives on the Regional District of Nanaimo board, with Eastmure as alternate. Hemmens will continue to sit on the Vancouver Island Regional Library board, with Eastmure as alternate.
According to the city, the new council is the 119th elected council since Nanaimo was incorporated as a city in 1874.