By RYAN KING
PORT AUX BASQUES — The most recent council meeting was held on Wednesday evening, Oct. 6 in chambers at the town hall. This was the first regular meeting of the newly elected council, and was chaired by Mayor Brian Button.
Among the topics discussed were the election of the deputy mayor, flooding on a property, and the creation of committees.
Election of the Deputy Mayor
The first order of business was getting the new council sworn in. New councillors Mark Andrews, Gwen Davis, Terry Ingram, and returning councillors Melvin Keeping, Jim Lane, and Todd Strickland all took their oaths of office. Following this, nominations were held for the position of deputy mayor, a position that is decided internally by the council.
Mark Andrews and Jim Lane were both nominated. All councillors then cast their vote anonymously. Mark Andrews was declared the new Deputy Mayor by a vote of 5 to 2.
Flooding at 14 First Avenue
A delegation from 14 First Avenue addressed council to discuss an issue they are having where water is coming onto their property and causing extensive damage, with trees affected and roots coming out of the ground. The delegates believe the problem is a result of a ditch dug by a neighbour, which is redirecting water from a spring.
Mayor Button noted that committees were still being established during this first meeting of council but said that this will be a top priority for the Public Works Committee. The new committee will visit the property to assess the problem and whether or not it is the responsibility of the town to address.
The meeting ended with the establishment of the structures of the council’s committees.
Mayor Button noted that while in past councils the mayor would not necessarily be a part of the committees, he decided to include himself as a member of multiple committees. He also noted that the members of the committees were chosen on the basis of their individual strengths.
The Financial and Human Recourses Committee will be chaired by councillor Davis, and she is joined by Mayor Button, Coun. Lane, Town Manager Leon MacIsaac, and Town Clerk Julia Ingram.
The Economic Development Committee will be chaired by Coun. Keeping, joined by Coun. Strickland, Mayor Button, Leon MacIsaac, and the Economic Development Officer Shauna Strickland.
The Public Works Committee will be chaired by Coun. Ingram, joined by Coun. Keeping, Coun. Lane, and the Town Manager.
The Recreation Committee will be chaired by Coun. Strickland, joined by councillor Davis, Deputy Mayor Andrews, Leon MacIsaac and Shauna Strickland.
The Marine Atlantic Committee will be chaired by Coun. Lane, joined by Coun. Strickland, Coun. Keeping, and the Town Manager.
The Health Care Committee will be chaired by Deputy Mayor Andrews, and he is joined by Coun. Davis and Mayor Button.
The Liaison Committee for the Fire Brigade will be comprised of Coun. Lane and Ingram.
The Disaster Committee will be comprised of Mayor Button, Deputy Mayor Andrews, Coun. Ingram, the Town Manager, and the Town Clerk.
The Southwest Coast Waste Management Committee will be comprised of Coun. Keeping and the Town Manager.
The Southwest Coast Joint Council will be chaired by Deputy Mayor Andrews.
The Urban Municipalities Committee will be chaired by Mayor Button.
The Port aux Basques and Area Chamber of Commerce Committee will be chaired by Coun. Strickland.
The Southwest Coast Historical Society Committee will be chaired by Coun. Davis.
The Peaceful Communities Committee will be chaired by Deputy Mayor Andrews.
The Stewardship Association of Municipalities will be chaired by Coun. Ingram.
The Stephenville Airport Cooperation Committee will consist of Coun. Lane. Button noted former councillor Chester Coffin will still be involved with the board as a private individual.