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Pemberton’s new council officially sworn in

Mayor Mike Richman thanks outgoing members for good work during tough times
From left, Pemberton councillors Katrina Nightingale, Laura Ramsden, Ted Craddock, and Jennie Helmer, pictured with returning Mayor Mike Richman, right, following the group's official swearing-in on Nov. 1.

Pemberton's new mayor and council took their oaths of office in a short inauguration ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

After the official swearing-in, the mayor and each councillor had a chance to reflect on the four years ahead.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” said Mayor Mike Richman, who marked the beginning of his third term. “We have a mighty little crew and we have a lot of goals and a changing community; we’re facing climate change, we’re facing inflation, all that fun stuff. But with all the change we’re seeing, I think there’s a lot of opportunity for us. I’m really looking forward to managing that change with the four [council members], I’m looking forward to exploring the opportunities that are ahead of us.”

Councillor Ted Craddock said he was looking forward to working with the varied faces at the table as he marked his fifth term.

“Over the years I’ve spent here, I’ve worked with some really wonderful people and I’m really looking forward to this group of people. I like to see the younger people come on board and I think it’s going to be real change for the community,” he said.

For her part, Coun. Jennie Helmer, a two-term councillor who last served in 2018, highlighted the challenges ahead. “I look around and I think, ‘What a strong team to land with right now.’ I look ahead, and I see where we’ve come from with so many challenges the last few years and I can’t imagine everything will become easy again—I don’t see it. So, I feel like we’re very fortunate and I am grateful we’re starting from a strong place,” she said.

Highlighting the different backgrounds of everyone at the table, Coun. Katrina Nightingale said the mix will lead to debate, which is essential for council.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know everybody in a more meaningful way and creating that trust,” she added. “That’s so important for healthy debate … and creating that space of comfort when we’re uncomfortable because there are a lot of issues out there, complicated ones. We’ve got different lenses and the trust that’s required to move through that is really important.”

It is both “a privilege and responsibility” to be sitting at the council table, Coun. Laura Ramsden added.

“I think that anything we do accomplish over the next few years is built on work of those who came before us, so for those of you who were here before—both staff and council—I’m very grateful for the work that you’ve done and I’m really looking forward to getting to know everybody,” she said.

Richman also took a moment to thank departing council members Amica Antonelli, Leah Noble and Ryan Zant.

“As we start this new chapter I do want to acknowledge the outgoing councillors … who put in four hard years with us,” he said. “It was a tough four years, two-and-a-half of which were turned upside down along with the community and the rest of the world and our little organization through the pandemic. It threw our work plan off a little bit, but I believe our council did some really productive work over the last few years, and I just really want to acknowledge the outgoing councillors for their contribution and commitment.”

Meanwhile, during the meeting, the appointments to various boards and committees were also presented. The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District board appointments included: Mayor Richman as the Village of Pemberton (VOP) representative to the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Board, the Sea to Sky Regional Hospital District Board, Pemberton Lillooet Treaty Advisory, and the Pemberton Valley Utilities and Services (PVUS) committee and Coun. Ramsden as the second member on the PVUS committee. Other board and committee appointments include: Coun. Nightingale to the Pemberton and District Library board and Cemetery Committee and Coun. Craddock to the Municipal Insurance Association of BC.

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