City of Lacombe council sworn in
Grant Creasey is sworn in as the new mayor of the City of Lacombe by Lacombe Police Chief Lorne Blumhagen on Monday in Council Chambers and City Hall.(Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)
The changing of the guard on Lacombe city council became official Monday as newly elected Mayor Grant Creasey, five new councillors and one incumbent councillor were sworn in.
Each took the Oath of Office conducted by Lacombe Police Services Chief prior to an organizational meeting.
“I am pleased to be elected as part of a Council that respects the ideals and principles of good governance,” said Creasey.
“I look forward to working closely with the members of my council team and city administration to build on the successes of the previous council, and start improving our community through increased transparency, effective public engagement, and fiscally prudent decision-making.”
Some new public engagement measures were already being put into place, including an initial dry-run of a livestream of the meeting, which Creasey was happy to see.
“I was pleasantly surprised that this organizational meeting would be livestreamed, but I look forward to implementing it throughout the year,” he said.
Coun. Reuben Konnik, the lone returnee from the previous council is now the veteran, with seven years of experience.
While he didn’t expect there to be so much change on council, he says he’ll be there to offer help if anyone needs it.
“There’s no real course you take to become a politician. You just jump in with two feet. It’ll be a learning curve for everyone but I’ll be here to answer questions and help them along,” he said.
“There’s some very bright people in the room. I’m sure we’ll do very well.”
Their first order of business was to appoint council members to various municipal commissions, committees and boards.
Konnik now sits on the Lacombe Police Commission, Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, Affordable Housing Strategy Steering Committee, Inter City Forum on Social Policy, as well as the Council Remuneration Review Committee, along side Creasey and Thalia Hibbs.
Hibbs is also part of the Lacombe Regional Waste Services Commission, Intermunicipal Development Plan Committee, Municipal Planning Commission with Creasey, and alone on the Cranna Community Culture Centre (C4) Initiative.
Jonathan Jacobson will be tasked with much of the city’s art-related committees, including the Art Collection Committee, Recreation, Parks and Culture Board, the Arts Endowment Committee, Heritage Resources Committee, as well as the Echo Lacombe Association.
The Lacombe Library and Parkland Regional Library board’s council representative will be taken care of by Chris Ross. He will also be on the Affordable Housing Strategy Steering Committee, Lacombe County Fire Services Advisory Committee, Lacombe Regional Tourism and Marketing Association, and Airport Review Committee with Cora Hoekstra.
Hoekstra will be on the Lacombe Foundation Board, the Lacombe and District Rikubetsu Friendship Society, Central Alberta Regional Trails Initiative (CARTS), and serve as the Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce liaison. She is also on the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board as well as both the Emergency Management Advisory Committee, and Lacombe Regional Emergency Partnership.
Don Gullekson will also be on Emergency Management Advisory, as well as Municipal Planning Commission, CP Railway Community Advisory Panel, Lacombe FCSS, and Lacombe Days.
Creasey sits alone on the North Red Deer Regional Wastewater Services Commission (NRDRWWSC) and North Red Deer River Water Services Commission.
During the meeting on Monday, the new council also made the decision to defer on the recruitment of a new Chief Administrative Officer to the Nov. 14 regular meeting.
The deferral was made so council could receive presentations from recruiting agencies.
Looking ahead, the new council will take a tour of city facilities on Nov. 1, hear presentations from recruiting agencies and take part in the council budget workshop Nov. 6-8. On Nov. 9-10, they’ll take part in a council training workshop in the Town of Blackfalds and Nov. 22-24, attend the annual AUMA convention in Calgary.