It was an emotional night at Quinte West City Hall on Monday, as members of Quinte West Council for the upcoming term, were officially sworn in.
Of the 13 people elected in October, including the mayor, 10 are returning council members, one has previous experience serving on council and two others come from local political families.
The three councillors who did not serve last term include Terry Cassidy, who was a longtime councillor before losing the mayor’s race to Harrison in 2014, David O’Neil, whose father Hugh was an MPP for multiple terms between 1975 and 1999 and Lynda Reid, whose husband Keith has more than 15 years of service to Quinte West Council.
Each new councillor took time to thank the people who helped them get elected as well as their families and friends for all of their support through the campaign.
Mayor Jim Harrison says that experience at the table will be extremely valuable and that as long as the group communicates well, they’ll be able to take care of a lot of city business, with few hiccups.
In his opening remarks Harrison encouraged councillors to “get involved in the community”, “go above and beyond what they’ve envisioned for themselves” and to “learn to be good listeners” as they make the tough decisions ahead.
Harrison says the City’s strength is in its diversity.
He also stressed the importance of working well with neighbouring municipalities to strengthen the entire Bay of Quinte region.
Among the priorities for the upcoming term Harrison says council will continue to make strides in doctor recruitment, push for a health hub and dialysis clinic at Trenton Memorial Hospital and figure out how to handle the issues surrounding recreational marijuana legalization.
The first meeting for the new council will be on December 17, 2018.