The new leadership of the Town of Hay River was officially sworn in on Nov. 6 and Kandis Jameson, the new mayor, is optimistic about the upcoming term of council.
“I’m super excited about what’s happening in Hay River and looking forward to getting some stuff done,” she said after the swearing-in ceremony. “The one thing about having a new council, or just about all of them new, is they’re so gung-ho. So that’s half the battle. They’re not jaded.”
However, Jameson noted the new council is not short of political experience.
“I’m not new to politics. I’m new to the office,” said the former councillor of moving up to the mayor’s chair. “Overall it was a natural progression for me. I’m looking forward to it.”
Plus, she noted Coun. Robert Bouchard has experience both as a former town councillor and a member of the NWT Legislative Assembly.
“That’s municipal, as well as territorial,” she said. “So that’s great experience.”
The new mayor also noted that Coun. Brian Willows is the public administrator for the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority.
“When you bring it all together, it’s exciting,” said Jameson.
The mayor also believes the new council has a good attitude, and has community support.
Coun. Keith Dohey, who is returning from the previous council, sounds optimistic about the new leadership group.
“Everybody looks pretty eager, so that’s exciting. I think that it should go well from what we’ve had so far,” he said, noting the new group has already had a few meetings to review some of the bigger issues facing the town. “You can sort of see the dynamic forming a little bit on how it’s going to be. And I think it looks good.”
The new mayor and council will be faced immediately with budget deliberations.
“I’m not worried,” said Dohey. “I think everybody here is pretty sharp and they’ll pick up on things pretty fast.”
Coun. Emily Chambers, a newcomer to council, said it is definitely exciting to begin her new role.
“I’m looking forward to working with everyone who has been elected,” she said. “I think we have a good team and I look forward to the next few years.”
The new council’s first meeting will take place on Nov. 20. On that date there was a committee meeting and a special meeting.
Judy Goucher, the senior administrative officer with the Town of Hay River, said the new council will be heading into budget work.
“That’s their biggest thing,” said Goucher. “And getting up to speed on all of the other bigger issues that the previous council was working on but hadn’t completed.”