Tearful farewell for Mayor Warner 

Developing relationship with Mount Currie cited as proud achievement

P>By Cindy Filipenko

The last regular meeting of the current Village of Pemberton council ended with Mayor Elinor Warner surprising herself. The two-term mayor and nine-year veteran councilor had to excuse herself to find a tissue during her final mayor’s report Tuesday.

Surprise was the theme of the evening, with first-term councillors Richard Doucet and Michelle Beauregard both describing their terms as surprising learning experiences.

Doucet expressed pride in the legacy of infrastructure the council was leaving behind and his hope that a community centre would soon be built.

Councillor Mark Blundell sited the developing relationship between the VOP and the Mount Currie Band as an accomplishment of note.

"At a presentation from Mount Currie last night I was encouraged to sit in a meeting where the First Nations said this was the greatest relationship they have experienced with a village council. I think that accomplishment of this council is very great," said Blundell.

He attributed much of the success of this relationship to Mayor Warner’s efforts.

In a compelling final address, Beauregard also focused on building bridges with First Nations, specifically citing the Winds of Change document that was spearheaded by the mayor and Councillor Joanne John of the MCB.

"The highlight of the last three years for me, has been the Winds of Change Report done with Mount Currie. The fabric of this town is about people. Looking after our mental, emotional and spiritual wellness is just as important as a new sewer plant, sidewalk or water meters. Indeed the Winds of Change document is about building a solid foundation for our future," said Beauregard.

Mayor Warner spoke warmly of the several councils she had worked with over the years, commented on their dedication and commitment to the community. She extended her thanks to Electoral Area Director Susie Gimse and Squamish-Lillooet Regional District administrator Paul Edgington.

But her most heartfelt comments were reserved for the current staff which she described as "the best staff ever." Sheena Fraser, deputy clerk and Dave Allen were on hand to receive their accolade, however outgoing administrator Bryan Kirk missed a touching tribute from the mayor.

"Bryan’s not here, but you know his commitment and professionalism took us through 11 years of tremendous growth. He let us know what we could do and what we couldn’t do. He was always in the background. He never wanted to take credit. He made us look good," said Warner.

She ended her remarks by wishing all the candidates good luck in Saturday’s civic elections.

"If elected, may you serve your community well," she said in closing.

The new council will meet with the outgoing council on Dec. 5.

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