The new City council was sworn in during a meeting at City Hall on Monday night.
Re-elected Mayor Bill Given, along with returning councillors Chris Thiessen, Jackie Clayton and Kevin O’Toole were all back in their regular spots.
Newcomers included Eunice Friesen, Clyde Blackburn and Wade Pilat. Yadvinder Minhas took the previous two terms off, but was once again elected this time.
Given said he “felt energized” by the new council.
We have a great cross-section of the community sworn in here. We have people with a lot of skills to add, and I’m looking forward to getting this term underway,” said Given. “From all indications so far as we’ve been getting organized … It looks as though there’s a good collegiality among the council members.”
“Immediately, right off the bat, this council is going to be thrown into the fire,” he said. “We have a full week of training to ensure councillors know some of the basic things, like where to park at city hall. They’ll even know more important things, like projects we’re undertaking.”
Grande Prairie council newcomer Wade Pilat is ready to make big things happen. He says he’s ready to “learn and get engaged” with the community.
“I think we have a good council and a cross-section of different skillsets. It should make for a good four years,” he said.
He spent election night with close friends and his family, and was once again surrounded by them after Monday’s swearing-in ceremony at City Hall.
As he gets ready to move forward, he’s got one thing he’d love to focus on.
My biggest thing is … Working on financial transparency. There are some concerns with that, and being to stave off tax increases.”
A motion was passed for the Deputy Mayor appointment, with Chris Thiessen, Eunice Frieson, Jackie Clayton, Clyde Blackburn, Wade Pilat, Kevin O’Toole and Yadvinder Minhas all set to take a turn in the role.
Councillors and the mayor were also elected to numerous committees.
Story written by Jordan Parker