The new mayor and council had a chance to speak about their new positions and their hopes for the next four years during the inaugural city council meeting on Monday, Dec. 8. The members of council also took the time to thank their supporters, families and those who took the time to vote in the municipal election.
Mayor Lee Pratt welcomed everyone at the meeting. He thanked the supporters and family.
“I would like to thank the previous Mayor Wayne Stetski and Councillors Denise Pallesen, Angus Davis, Sharon Cross, Diana J. Scott, Gerry Warner and Bob Whetham for their service to the citizens of Cranbrook,” he said, then welcomed the new councillors Tom Shypitka, Wesly Graham, Ron Popoff, Danielle Cardozo, Isaac Hockley and Norma Blissett.
“Myself and this council are committed to do the best we can and make decisions which will best serve the majority of the citizens of Cranbrook,” Pratt said. “Cranbrook is a great city that has many amenities which all contribute to the quality of life we enjoy here. As a council we are committed to maintaining this quality of life.”
He said council will “continue to support the arts and culture, recreation, senior residents, youth involvement and multicultural activities which make Cranbrook the great city it is.”
Pratt said council needs to address the doctor shortage and other healthcare needs in the community.
“We all agree that we need to be financially responsible in spending the taxpayers’ dollars and allocate these funds wisely. We need to have economic growth which will add to our tax base, this will attract new residents who will become our friends and neighbours.”
They will be working on a new approach to economic growth and the implementation of a new roadwork program.
Councillors also had a chance to thank their supporters and family, as well as talk a bit about their new positions.
Shypitka thanked his sponsors. He also wanted to thank his wife Carrie and three children Allie, Adam and Dustin.
“I’d really like to thank the 3,191 voters who put their trust in me to represent them at city hall, I really can’t tell you how good it is to know that I have so many people that believe that I can make a difference.”
He said it’s a little bit intimidating getting so many votes, as he’ll be under the spotlight.
“I take your vote seriously and I’ll do whatever it takes to fill my obligations to you and the city of Cranbrook,” Shypitka said. “My door will always be open and I’ll enjoy serving you.”
He said he’s met with each of the new members of council and despite their differences, they will be a cohesive unit.
“Our small differences allow us to have the new insight into out current beliefs and allow us to open more doors to opportunity,” he said. “Our differences, if used correctly will enable Cranbrook to be a better place to live for our citizens and convince those who are yet to be.”
Coun. Ron Popoff said he wanted to echo the statements of Shypitka.
Popoff thanked his wife and family, his campaign team and supporters.
“I’m still a little overwhelmed by this whole experience,” he said. “I’m truly honoured to be able to serve the citizens in this capacity over the next four years. And now it’s time for the work to begin and so with that I wish to congratulate all of council and look forward to working with everybody.”
Cardozo also noted all the people that helped them get their platforms out there, as well as the community members who got out and voted.
“I thank you wholeheartedly for using that voice and entrusting me with this responsibility,” she said. “It’s not one that I take lightly. It will be one where I do spend the time to do a lot of learning, but that learning is something that I will bring to council each and every meeting.”
Cardozo thanked her family.
“Campaigning with three children isn’t easy. I had to give a whole lot of time. But it’s worth it when my nine-year-old daughter is sitting in the audience watching what is happening tonight.”
Blissett was happy to be there.
“It’s an honour to be able to serve my community as one of the members of city council,” Blissett said. “Since we’re all new to this I think things might be a little shaky to start, but I think we’re all quick learners and it should be smooth sailing sooner than later.”
Blissett thanked her campaign supporters and the voters.
Graham wanted to thank everyone for getting involved in the voting process and supporting him
“I’d like to thank all my family for their support and getting involved,” Graham said.
“I’m looking forward to the next four years and working hard for the citizens of Cranbrook.”
Hockley said he wanted to keep his speech short and sweet.
“I want to thank my wife because if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be sitting up here — happy wife, happy life,” Hockley said.