Eleven days before municipal elections, Mike Richman was already holding his first Pemberton council meeting as the village's new mayor.
Well, not quite. Richman has been serving as acting mayor since September — and he won't officially become His Worship until after the Nov. 15 election — but with the withdrawal of Jerry Mohs from the mayoral race, Richman is set to be acclaimed as Mayor of Pemberton.
While the outcome may seem obvious the process is not, according to Sheena Fraser, manager of corporate and legislative services with the Village of Pemberton (VoP).
Because Mohs' withdrawal came past the Oct. 17 deadline, a formal withdrawal process must first be undertaken with the provincial government.
Mohs must submit a written letter of withdrawal to Fraser, the VoP's chief elections officer, who must then submit it to the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
It's possible that the process won't be formally completed before the Nov. 15 election.
"It is a process that you have to go through, and we are in the hands of the ministry until they tell us otherwise," Fraser said.
"In the meantime, we are running an election for mayor and council."
GILMORE APPOINTED CAO
At least one new position with the VoP is official.
Nikki Gilmore was announced as the Village of Pemberton's new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) on Monday, and at the Nov. 4 council meeting the long-time VoP staffer was officially appointed by council.
Gilmore has worked for the village since 1999, serving in the accounting department and as manager of finance before her most recent promotion.
Gilmore replaces former CAO Daniel Sailland, who left the position in August.
COMMUNITY ALCOHOL POLICY ADOPTED
Also at Tuesday's meeting, council adopted a Community Alcohol Policy that has been in the works since last March.
The policy is a collaboration between the Village of Pemberton, Lil'wat Nation and SLRD Area C and aims to promote responsible alcohol consumption.
The policy has no effect on existing provincial liquor laws, but acts more as a best practices guideline for the communities involved.
"(It's) a matter of addressing the culture of drinking," Richman said.
Outgoing councillor Alan Leblanc questioned the need for such a policy, saying "It's just another layer of bureaucracy that we have to deal with."
Fraser disagreed, saying the policy would serve as a guiding document for all the communities involved.
"If all three jurisdictions use it then we're all using the same language around moderation and responsibility," Fraser said.
"It's meant to be a guideline to help facilitate a special event, especially where alcohol or partying is concerned."
Tribal Police and RCMP consulted on the policy have supported it, Richman noted.
The 40-page policy can be viewed on the Village of Pemberton's website.
TRAILS STANDARDS GUIDELINES
Council also moved to adopt a set of guidelines for trail standards in the Pemberton valley.
The need for the Trails Standards Guidelines came out of 2011's Official Community Plan.
The standards found inside were based on best practices in other jurisdictions including Whistler, Squamish and the City of Portland, Oregon.
The guidelines will be used to help developers, community organizations and the Village when developing trails.
The Guidelines set minimum requirements for trails and ensure that Pemberton has a range of trail types and options for anyone who might use them.
LAST MEETING FOR OUTGOING COUNCIL
It was the last meeting of council for at least two people at the table on Tuesday.
Councillors Ted Craddock and Alan Leblanc have both decided not to seek re-election, while incumbent councillor James Linklater is in the running for council.
Council hopefuls Joanne Molinaro, Deb Esseltine and Robert Szachury were all in attendance as well.
The next council meeting is scheduled for November 18 at 9 a.m.
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