New council gets busy right out of the gate

New term will see some major changes.

Port Alberni's new Mayor Mike Ruttan engages with the public at the inaugural council meeting on Monday

Port Alberni’s new city council and mayor were sworn in by Justice of the Peace Mirina Stilinovic in front of an audience so large they spilled out of council’s chambers at city hall.

“We are entering the first year of a new term on council. Each year brings new challenges for council and the upcoming term will be no exception,” said Mayor Mike Ruttan.

He congratulated the newly formed council and reaffirmed both his and council’s dedication to serving the people.

“Each of us has committed to serving the people of Port Alberni on this first council with a four-year mandate.”

Ruttan, who has been vocal about increasing public engagement, wasted no time in creating four new standing committees.

Food Security and Climate Change, Seniors Advisory, Youth Advisory and McLean Advisory were the new committees introduced. Terms of reference for the committees have yet to be established, but creating the committees now gives the city a chance to catch the remnants of the increased interest in municipal politics seen during the election.

The new standing committees are meant to reduce the amount of ad-hoc committees that pop up when problems in those areas arise.

Two more changes were seen at the inaugural meeting with Ruttan set to wear the official mayoral regalia during council meetings and council sitting together with city management moved off to the side.

The shuffling around of seats was symbolic of the unity between council and mayor that Ruttan believes is key making the next four years productive.

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