New council sworn in

By Geoff Lee

November 9, 2016 2:33 PM

I SWEAR Judge Peter Johnston swears in Gerald Aalbers, right, as Lloydminster's new mayor with his wife, Christine, keeping a hand on the Bible. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

The first order of business for Lloydminster’s new council was a motion to adjourn.
It carried unanimously to conclude the official swearing in ceremony in Council Chambers Monday night with a full room of well wishers.
The event kicked off at 5:30 p.m. with an RCMP honour guard to escort the six councillors and Mayor Gerarld Aalbers to their seats.
Following the national anthem sung by Victoria Marmulak, judge Peter Johnston helped Aalbers and councillors Jonathan Torresan, Stephanie Brown Munro, Ken Baker, Michael Diachuk, Aaron Buckingham and Glenn Fagnan take their oaths of office.
“We will be honest, transparent and accountable in our decision making process,” said Aalbers in his inaugural address.
He went on to state, “I look forward to working with our new council, our neighbouring municipalities as well as our provincial and federal leaders in bringing Lloydminster’s priorities to the forefront.”
In a media scrum following the proceedings, Aalbers expressed relief to get the process of running the city underway with the first official council meeting on Nov. 14.
“It feels great to get that process started and get that out from underneath us,” said Aalbers.
“It’s always a little nerve wracking your first time sitting in that chair.”
Aalbers’ colour portrait is already hanging in the gallery of past mayors as the transition to the next government is well underway.
He also said it’s a great relief starting a new government with the recent cancellation by the city of its $4.5 million purchase offer of the Synergy Credit Union.
Aalbers campaigned against the purchase in lockstep with many voters.
“It is a relief that it is that way—I’m sure there will be other discussions going forward about other opportunities and options,” he said referring to a new home for the library.
“I know they would like to move and somewhere along the lines we’ll address that, but it’s not going to happen tomorrow.”
Coun. Ken Baker who was first elected to council in 1994 said he’s been helping the five other first time councillors get up to speed on processes and procedures during orientation.
“These people can think for themselves—it’s just a matter of filling them in on history on certain things,” said Baker.
He said his advice is for them to do their own research and make their own decisions.
Baker also puts the waste water treatment plant as top priority for council business.
“It’s a needed facility in our city and we have to deal with it and right way—we gotta get it done,” he said.

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