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Plumtree voted in as new Vauxhall mayor

Posted on November 7, 2013 by Vauxhall Advance

An official organizational meeting was held by the newly acclaimed Town of Vauxhall council Nov. 4. During the meeting, councillors nominated two councillors as mayor and deputy mayor. Margaret Plumtree was voted in as Vauxhall’s new mayor and Russell Norris was selected to remain as deputy mayor of the town.

Before councillors got down to casting votes for their choice for mayor, both nominees had a chance to explain why they wanted to serve the town as mayor, as Plumtree won the mayor vote 4-3 among council.

Plumtree noted she would like to see an increase in town growth, before being chosen by the other councillors to be at the helm of town council.

“I’m looking at increasing population as well as business because either you grow or you decrease. If we decrease we get taken over by the Municipal District of Taber, if our population decreases,” said Plumtree, adding she would also be in favour of relationships improving in town and throughout the M.D.

“That doesn’t mean the town hall, I mean everyone. Obviously, there’s some issues with the town and how people perceive the organization but when you’re dealing with different committees I find that there’s a lot of negativity.”

“Being a new person to town I’m not quite sure why that is but I’d like us to all get back on track. We’re all working for the town, that’s why we’re volunteering and joining different committees and joining town council. I’d really like to work on that.”

Plumtree said she would want to work with council to increase and improve the town’s facilities and infrastructure.

“We can’t grow without the infrastructure. We also can’t grow without the facilities. Our pool is down at the moment, the arena’s in rough shape, the downtown is in a bit of a rough shape — I’d like to see improvements there, as well,” said Plumtree.

Coun. Norris noted to fellow councillors before the council vote for mayor that he believes continuity of past councils is critical.

“There’s so many issues that are ongoing,” said Norris.

“One of the reasons I wanted to run was to provide the continuity. I think that there’s so much background information that takes time to learn and if you’re all brand new it’s like starting with a clean slate,” he added.

Norris agreed with Plumtree that he is also a firm believer in communication and he believes past council might have missed the boat.

“We had opportunities to further discuss but the communication didn’t seem to be getting through. The membership wanted us to talk and due to policies and procedures we were unable to do what we wanted to do and I hope with this new council, whatever direction we’re going to go, will really work on communication,” said Norris.

During the organizational meeting council decided which councillors will sit on the various committees throughout town and within the M.D. Sitting on a committee is a one-year term. The following is a list of each councillor designated to each committee. Subdivision and Development Authority: Linda English, Russell Norris and alternate Marilyn Forchuk. Subdivision and Development Appeal Board: Christie Sorensen and Martin Kondor. Economic/Joint Economic Development: Margaret Plumtree, Christie Sorensen and alternate Linda English. Canadian Badlands: Margaret Plumtree and alternate Martin Kondor. SouthGrow: Margaret Plumtree and Member at Large Peter Van Uden. Vauxhall Library Board: Russell Norris. Chinook Library Board: Russell Norris. Jet Stadium Society: Christie Sorensen. Veterans Memorial Highway 36: Russell Norris. SAKA: Marilyn Forchuk and alternate Margaret Plumtree. Policy and Bylaw Review: Richard Phillips and Russell Norris. Rates Review: Russell Norris and Linda English. Cemetery: Christie Sorensen and Marilyn Forchuk. Pool Committee: Christie Sorensen, Russell Norris and Marilyn Forchuk. Vauxhall and District Regional Waste Management Authority: Richard Phillips. Taber and District Housing: Linda English. Oldman River Regional Services Commission (ORRSC): Russell Norris and alternate Linda English. Vauxhall and District Regional Water Commission: Richard Phillips and Russell Norris. Intermunicipal Development Board: Linda English and Russell Norris. Recreation and Culture Board: Martin Kondor. Public Information Officer — Emergency Management Plan: Linda English. Protective Services and Regional Fire Authority: Russell Norris and Martin Kondor.

At the town council meeting held Nov. 4 after the official organizational meeting, council passed the motion to appoint Lori-Joe Barnes to serve as a Member at Large on the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board for a two-year term. Barnes has formerly served as a Member at Large on the Subdivision and Development Authority Board.

Town council passed the motion to appoint former town councillor Brian Hagen to serve as a Member at Large on the Vauxhall Library Board for a three-year term. Previously, Hagen was the appointed councillor who served on the Vauxhall Library Board for the past three years and also served as the library treasurer.

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