New council officially sworn in at first meeting
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Dec 04, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

New council officially sworn in at first meeting

Stratford Gazette

Chet Greason cgreason@stratfordgazette.com

Stratford’s newest councillors were sworn into office Monday evening during a ceremony at city hall.

Led in by a bagpiper playing The Maple Leaf Forever, the councillors, both new and old, thanked their friends and supporters before being symbolically sworn into office (they had already sworn in, officially, prior to the meeting.)

In his inaugural address, Mayor Dan Mathieson called his re-election “a privilege and an honour.” He noted this council will face a number of important issues over the next four years, including affordable housing, the environment, and a balanced budget.

“My job is to help bring forward consensus,” he said. “It’s not an easy task, but it’s one I hope to achieve.”

Following the mayor’s address, a series of bylaws were passed that assigned Council members to their predetermined appointments on the city’s various committees and subcommittees.

Perhaps one of the most notable changes was that Coun. Martin Ritsma was named deputy mayor, not incumbent Frank Mark, who had held the title last term.

Mark said there were four councillors who put their names forward, and that each councillor voted for their top choices on a ranked ballot.

“I would’ve liked to have been (deputy mayor) again,” admitted Mark. “I wouldn’t have to have gotten new business cards made.”

Ritsma said that it’s always a challenge, as well as humbling, when your peers ask you to perform an important role.

“Although, as my second mandate as the top vote-getter, perhaps the citizens were asking as well.”

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