Red Deer’s new mayor and the city’s eight councillors have officially been sworn into office.
“It really is such a humbling office that the public has called me to,” Mayor Ken Johnston said following the swearing-in ceremony Monday evening.
“When you hold a public trust like this … it very much is a very humbling and yet inspiring journey that the public wants you to join them on. It’s very, very special.”
Johnston was joined at the ceremony by the councillors who were successful on election night Oct. 18 – Kraymer Barnstable, Bruce Buruma, Michael Dawe, Victor Doerksen, Vesna Higham, Cindy Jefferies, Lawrence Lee and Dianne Wyntjes.
The two-week-long orientation process begins Tuesday for Red Deer’s new council.
“We’re going to learn about each other: our passions, our platforms, what made us step forward,” he said, adding orientation is beneficial to both returning and new councillors.
“We hope to form a good chemistry. If I had an objective out of the next week and a half, it would be (developing) a nice chemistry going into our first council meeting.
“It’s a busy week, but a necessary week of team building and strategizing.”
The first official council meeting of this term is Monday, Nov. 15.
A mentor, who has worked with council in the past, will hold an orientation session with mayor and council in a few days, Johnston said.
“I remember what he said to us in 2013 and it stuck to me and I hope it sticks with this new council,” said Johnston.
“‘When everyone works together, nobody really is concerned who gets the credit.’ We can accomplish very great things … but if we get hung up on how the light falls or who said what, or who put (something) forward and all of those kinds of things, that’s when we start to drift apart from our mission. Our mission is clearly one of service.”
There are a number of issues council will need to address moving forward, including revitalizing the downtown and the 24/7 shelter, said Johnston.