Lantzville’s new councillors expressed enthusiasm, excitement and a readiness of move forward after being sworn into office Monday.
Four new district councillors took their seats for the first time in front of more than 50 residents and dignitaries who turned out to the inaugural council meeting and swearing-in ceremony at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 257.
It was the first time the new council formally met together since the August byelection and it marked the restoration of a council, which has held limited powers after four politicians resigned earlier this year. Snaw-naw-as Chief David Bob welcomed the new councillors, joking “here we go again” before made his remarks. Regional District of Nanaimo chairman Joe Stanhope, RCMP Supt. Mark Fisher and former councillors Jennifer Millbank and Graham Savage – both of whom resigned last spring – were among the crowd.
New councillors expressed enthusiasm and optimism after swearing an Oath of Office. The community’s highest vote getters, Bob Colclough and Mark Swain, both said they are excited and looking forward to serving the community while Dot Neary is enthusiastic and “raring to go” and Will Wyn Geselbracht is optimistic.
“It feels like a weight has been lifted off because now we can get down to business,” said Swain, who added that he wants to move ahead on the issue of water and the agreement with Nanaimo.
Mayor Colin Haime has met with councillors individually and said he loves their positive outlook, they want to get started on doing things, they are open to different viewpoints on issues and there’s an expression of an increased level of cooperation.
“It will be a very good group,” he said.
Millbank, who attended the council meeting to show support for new council members, called them stellar and competent people who are committed to getting things done.
“At the time I resigned I wasn’t comfortable being there anymore,” said Millbank, who says it was the right decision. “This council is going to have the benefit of watching that experience and hopefully they’re going to have enough fortitude to make the decisions that are the right decisions, not necessarily the easy decisions.
“I wish them well and they’ve got the talent and they’ve got the ability so I hope that it’s possible that they can move forward and move the district forward.”