With the skirl of the pipes and a smiling procession into council chambers, the new District of Sooke council was administered the oath of office and councillors and Mayor Maja Tait took their seats for the next four-year term of office on Monday night.
Tait was accompanied by two incumbent councillors, Brenda Parkinson and Ebony Logins and the four new faces at the council table – Megan McMath, Jeff Bateman, Tony St. Pierre, and Al Beddows.
The proceedings began with the council swearing the oath of allegiance to the Crown and, although some in the community had been openly speculating about whether all councillors would take the oath (some officials in other municipalities have declined to do so), the oath was administered as a group and no one on the new council made a point of excusing themselves.
Then, one by one, the council rose to take the oath of office.
Some of the assembled guests chuckled when each of the councillors had to attest that they had not won the election by buying votes or through intimidation, and more than one of the guests were doubtlessly making a note to look up the term “pecuniary interest” as it relates to matters before council (it means relating to money).
Tait then addressed the council and guests, saying the district was coming of age and it was time to face the challenges and move confidently into the future.
During her address, Tait received a little impromptu assistance from her son who, having heard enough of the speeches and oaths, thought he might speed up the proceedings by taking to the podium.
At that point, it was time to get down to business and council made its board appointments.
Mayor Tait will assume the role of CRD representative, with Parkinson taking the position as the alternate.
The duo of Tait and Parkinson also took positions on the CRD Water Supply Commission and the CRD Hospital Board.
Parkinson was also appointed as to the Juan de Fuca Water Distribution Commission, with Logins as the alternate.
The regional housing Trust Fund went to Logins and the Sooke and Electoral Commission Parks and Recreation Commission went to Beddows.
St. Pierre was appointed to the CRD Climate Action Inter-municipal Task Force and the Vancouver Island Library Board went to Bateman, with Logins as the alternate.
Finally, McMath picked up a lone appointment to the CRD Emergency Service CREST Board.
The meeting was adjourned and, after a standing ovation for the new council, it was time for pictures, handshakes and light refreshments.