New city leaders pledged their oath of office at an inauguration ceremony during the Prince Rupert City Council meeting on Nov. 7.
A crowded city council chamber held more than 25 audience members to witness the swearing-in of Mayor Herb Pond, City Councillors Barry Cunningham, Wade Niesh, Gurvinder Randhawa and Reid Skelton Morven. Returning Councillor Nick Adey and newcomer to council Teri Forster participated by taking their oaths of office online. The ceremonial circumstance was presided over by retired Judge Herman Seidemann, with a traditional welcome from Hereditary Chief Sm’ooygit Gitxoon, Alex Campbell, followed by a welcome reception.
Pond described his return to the helm of the city council after a 14-year absence from chambers as similar to putting on cozy clothing.
“It’s like putting on a comfortable pair of jeans,” Pond told The Northern View. “You know I’ve been here before. Lots has changed and lots hasn’t.”
Pond said it won’t be shocking news that he intends to carry on with his election promises and goals of prioritizing moving the community forward using plans developed by the previous council.
“We need to work on housing. We need to work on our water system in particular. All of that needs to happen in a way that builds up the 2030 plan. The biggest job in all of that is getting the money so we can actually do those things.”
Pond previously held the office of city mayor from 2002 to 2008 for back-to-back three-year terms.
Outgoing Mayor Lee Brain said Prince Rupert is a neighbourhood of people that supports its mayors and he couldn’t have completed his eight-year term without a cornerstone of backing from residents and stakeholders.
“[The community] has been behind me for the last eight years supporting the journey. It’s made it a lot easier a road. So, I really thank all the residents of the town.”
Brain said he is confident in Pond’s successorship and the vision the new council holds.
“We’ve created the vision, and everyone’s working towards that,” he said.
While it is pleasing to see council members continuing on and he is proud of what he accomplished as mayor of the city, leaving office comes with some relief, he said.
“It feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders … So for me, it’s time to be a dad. It’s time to enjoy my family and live life again.”
K-J Millar | Editor and Multimedia Journalist
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