In what Mayor Alice Finall called a “flawless performance,” the new council of the District of North Saanich was sworn in Monday afternoon in front of a full house.
Finall, along with Celia Stock, Murray Weisenberger, Geoff Orr, Heather Gartshore, Jack McClintock and Jack Thornburgh took the oath of office under the watchful eye of Director of Corporate Services Curt Kingsley and then took their seats at the council table.
In her inaugural address, Finall said the election on Nov. 15 that saw 53 per cent voter turnout, “was (electors’) opportunity to have (their) voices heard as to the type of council and the people who (they) want to represent (them) over the next four years.”
Finall called the entire new council “an exceptional group.”
“For me, the prospect of working with this new council is inspiring and encouraging,” Finall continued. “I’m willing to work with each and all of the council.”
Finall called for rational, collaborative behaviour and actions among all of council this term — especially as they work closely with all citizens.
There were moments of applause from the audience, in acknowledgment of past council behaviour and in their hope for what Finall called respectful, yet energetic, debate.
Council appointments were announced during the inaugural session, the most notable of which was Finall’s return as North Saanich’s representative at the Capital Regional District board. It’s a position traditionally held by the mayors in Greater Victoria, but three years ago, a majority of council in North Saanich chose another councillor to hold the position.
Council newcomer Murray Weisenberger said he wasn’t nervous taking the oath of office — and that was echoed by Jack McClintock, himself a new councillor this term. McClintock, a former police officer, said he has taken many oaths over his career, so he is used to it.
“I’m looking forward to the next four years,” McClintock said, as his family tried out his council seat.
“I plan on learning a lot right off the bat,” he continued.
Weisenberger said he was pleased with his appointments, adding hard work will help him in the future to get into the areas he’s passionate about.
Orr said he was a little nervous taking the oath, finding it a different experience being on the council side of the room for a change.
“Looking at this audience,” he said, “I know a lot of the residents are very involved.”
Orr said he had asked to be on the council’s First Nations liaison committee, while his appointment to the Greater Victoria Labour Council will be a new experience for him.
“I have a feeling we’ll be able to work together really well,” Orr said of the new council.
Gartshore takes on the role of acting mayor first, as Finall’s backup through December and January.
North Saanich council’s next committee of the whole meeting is Dec. 8, followed by a regular council session on Dec. 15.