Back-slapping all around as old council vacates chamber for newly elected members

Andrew Bennett
By Andrew Bennett
November 30th, 2011

The regular meeting on Nov. 28 was over in record time, adjourning within an hour as council tied up the few issues that remained on the “to do” list, but both returning and leaving councillors were sure to give their parting thanks.

Coun. Kathy Moore said it had been “a gift” to work with the outgoing council, thanking them for their service. “I’ve appreciated working with all of you.”

Coun. Andy Stradling also thanked “my colleagues and council for a very interesting and rewarding three years of public service for this city.”

Coun. Hanne Smith also chose the adjective “interesting,” and thanked council: “I learned a lot. I’m glad I did it; it allows me to be a better citizen.”

Coun. Laurie Charlton said leaving council ends 17 years of service “spread out over a few decades.”

“It’s been fun along the way,” he said, “with some highlights, some lowlights, but a lot of fun. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks everyone for the good fun.”

Moore got into the spirit of thank-yous as she argued for an official letter of appreciation addressed to the many service organizations in Rossland run by dedicated volunteers for the betterment of the city. She wanted every agency listed while Mayor Granstrom thought this would risk missing one organization or another.

Coun. Kathy Wallace suggested, “It would be nice to see an actual event, an annual appreciation evening. That’s for the next council to consider, instead of a written appreciation.”

Mayor Greg Granstrom said, “that’s a neat idea, but it is a budget item.”

Coun. Jill Spearn added, “I think there is a budget line budgeted for it. At least we should have a tea or something to bring everyone together. I’d rather see that than a letter. The new council can do that.”

Someone called out, “potluck!” as Coun. Hanne Smith agreed whole-heartedly and suggested the present written-thank you should be given a big space in the local media “with Christmas holly and something that catches the eye and is colourful and a little more festive than a small thing with tiny words. That would make me feel better, more celebratory of their efforts.”

The thanks then turned back to council itself.

Spearn said, “Thank you to all of those not coming back to council, and I look forward to another three years with the new council. It’s always interesting, not always fun, but rewarding and educational. Thanks to all, and to staff as always.”

Smith said, “Best wishes to those carrying on. It’s been a pleasure serving with you and I’m glad you’re continuing.

The sole resident at the meeting, Graham Kenyon, rose at this time: “I’d like to express my personal thanks. I wouldn’t deign to speak for all the residents of Rossland but, on behalf of one resident, I wanted to thank you all for the totally under-appreciated civic duty you’ve engaged in for the last 3 years. And I’d like to thank staff who put up with you all.”

Kenyon continued, “It’s gratifying, with the qualification that we started this whole term with the SSP (Strategic Sustainability Plan) and are finally sort of hitting the road. I’m amazed how long it took us to get through that and the OCP (Official Community Plan) and the zoning bylaw—which barely made it—but it’s good to see that process come to a conclusion. Thank you for your service.”

The mayor “got the last kick” and thanked council “for putting up with me for three years and for your commitment to the city.”

“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention 17 years of commitment. Thank you very much, Mr. Charlton, thank you,” Granstrom concluded to a round of applause. “We are adjourned.”

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