Members of the recently elected North Stormont municipal council gathered at the municipal building in Berwick on Sun., Oct. 28. From the left, councillor-elect Roxane Villeneuve, Mayor (acclaimed) Jim Wert, deputy mayor (acclaimed) Francoise Landry; councillor-elect Randy Douglas. Absent from photo councillor-elect Steve Densham. Thompson Goddard photo
Carolyn Thompson Goddard
BERWICK–The votes have been counted, election signs are coming down and members of the newly elected municipal council in North Stormont are preparing to take office in early December. Jim Wert and Francois Landry were acclaimed as mayor and deputy mayor respectively of North Stormont, Randy Douglas, Roxane Villenuve and Steve Densham being elected from a slate of six candidates running for the three councillor positions.
In a recent email to the Record, incoming Mayor Jim Wert commented he “felt the six candidates for our three councillor positions conducted very positive campaigns”, congratulating them for providing “quality” choices for the electorate when voting for the council which will “direct North Stormont for the next four years”. Francois Landry, who will serve as deputy mayor, mentioned he is looking forward to working with the recently elected councillors, with the close election results demonstrating the “approval and respect our constituents have towards all our nominated candidates”.
Councillor-elect Steve Densham and incoming deputy mayor Landry echoed Wert’s expression of gratitude to outgoing Mayor Dennis Fife and deputy mayor Bill McGimpsey for their contributions to municipality and their many years of experience serving the people of North Stormont.
The hiring of a new chief administrative officer is mentioned as a priority for council in the coming months, with councillor elect Randy Douglas commenting in a recent email to the Record, how a top priority of his will be the hiring process for the new CAO, including “the powers that will or won’t be granted to that person, and the ongoing performance appraisal process of the person in that position.” Other issues facing the newly elected council include supporting the agricultural community, increased access to natural gas and broadband internet, upcoming budget decisions, with fiscal responsibility and transparency also on the list of priorities. Wert commented how “small municipalities have to live within their means” and Landry expressed how “promoting and assisting in the development of essential services in our communities” is an important job for council. Densham and Wert both mentioned the proposed wind turbine project in the municipality is an important issue, with Densham commenting on the need for “regaining our voice with respect to green energy decisions in our area”.
Acting North Stormont CAO/clerk Betty de Haan provided to the Record some statistics on the 2018 municipal election in North Stormont, reporting the participation rate in the 2018 North Stormont municipal election was 39.45 per cent down from 43.46 per cent in 2014. De Haan explained the method of voting in this election was internet and phone only with “of the total participating – 74.9 per cent utilized the internet and 25.1 per cent used the phone,” with election results announced “in North Stormont Council Chambers at approximately 8:30 p.m.”She continued how “the North Stormont team/municipal staff provided the clerk’s office with very effective assistance during the 2018 Municipal Elections”. According to the Township of North Stormont’s official website, the newly elected council will be sworn Dec. 3.