Newly elected work towards transition

New mayor and councillors take their seats in council chambers on December 8.

Wesly Graham

It’s a period of transition right now at city hall, as the incumbents still remain in their offices until Dec. 8, which will see the new mayor and councillors take their seats in council chambers.

Though the election results are still fresh, the newly elected aren’t resting on their laurels as they prepare for their tenures in office.

“I’ve been meeting with some of the city managers and the CAO Wayne Staudt and we have a meeting planned for next Monday, just a familiarization with city hall, getting ready to introduce to the council some of the decisions we have to make right at the beginning regarding committees and what’s expected of us,” said Lee Pratt, the mayor-elect.

The Dec. 8 meeting will be mostly a ceremonial affair as Pratt and the rest of the councillors are sworn into office, which will be officiated by Judge Grant Sheard.

After that, it’s down to business.

“We have to go to work, and figure out a plan for addressing the immediate capital expenditure budget, which has to be submitted to the provincial government, so that’ll be our first priority, we’ll be looking at that and going to work on that,” Pratt said.

While Pratt is new to civic politics, he’ll have Wesly Graham at the table, who is a veteran of nine years as an elected councillor in Creston.

Graham said he has no problem answering questions and giving advice to his rookie colleagues.

“I have no problem doing that,” said Graham. “I’m not there to be that guy, but I have no problem providing guidance to the new councillors or mayor around the table on process, Roberts Rules or governance. I think that everybody’s also going to be looking on brushing up on that.”

For Graham, the first meeting will be a lot of pomp and circumstance, with the real work in the days ahead.

“You’re getting sworn in, you’re getting committee appointments, so it’s not like it’s going to be doing a ton of business on [Dec. 8]. My recommendation right after that is to sit down and do our five-year strategic plan, and I think we’ll see that happen on the quicker side, so we can go right into budget process,” Graham said.

Tom Shypitka has also been a part of the process after spending the last few days emailing and thanking supporters. He’s had a few meetings with the new councillors and staff and is looking forward to getting down to work.

“We talked the talk, now it’s time to walk the walk,” Shypitka said. “That’s the biggest challenge. We’re definitely not forgetting that this is an important part of Cranbrook’s history as far as change is concerned and we have to address these issues immediately because four years will go real fast.

“I think our first call of business will be getting councillors on the various committees and to perhaps caucus in early January to hammer out a budget and put our priorities in order.”

Ron Popoff, Danielle Cardozo, Norma Blissett and Isaac Hockley will also take their place at the council table after being sworn in on Dec. 8.

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