Cranbrook’s newest city councillor made his debut on Monday evening in council chambers, as Mike Peabody joined Mayor Lee Pratt and his five fellow colleagues to address local issues.
Peabody won a by-election by over 1,000 votes in a field of eight candidates who were looking to fill a vacancy from former councillor Tom Shypitka. The former councillor resigned in the summer to focus on his MLA duties after winning the Kootenay East riding for the BC Liberals in the provincial election earlier in May.
Peabody was officially sworn into office before the council meeting started by Chief Electoral Officer Sarann Press.
“I can’t say that I’m not proud to have this position,” said Peabody, after the meeting ended. “I’m very happy. As far as the meeting went, I think it went pretty smooth, I didn’t fumble too much with the declaration [oath], but I’m happy.”
Peabody, a longtime resident of Cranbrook who is a co-owner of The Choice, will bring another youthful perspective to the council table with a focus on the downtown core.
“For me, it’s going to be downtown vibrancy,” Peabody said. “That’s where I spend most of my life, is downtown. I want to see the majority of the downtown businesses prosper and get people downtown, hopefully have some later hours for the businesses and also get Sunday’s going.”
Peabody will have a year in office before people head back to the polls for municipal elections across the province. Right now, he says he will focus on short-term goals and ‘low-hanging fruit.’
“This is also going to be a big learning curve for me as well, so what I have coming into my first meeting and what my expectations are might drastically change after I sit through a couple more meetings and realize what can actually do,” Peabody said.
And he’s already getting advice from his fellow colleagues.
“Danielle Eaton told me that if you don’t have something prepared to say, then you didn’t do your job,” he said.