The mayor and council chosen by Sicamous voters in last month’s election were sworn in on Nov. 5 at the district’s inaugural council meeting.
Mayor Terry Rysz and the council, made up of Jeff Mallmes, Malcolm Makayev, Colleen Anderson, Gord Bushell, Ryan Airey and Bob Evans, swore an oath of office before Judge Edward de Walle and a viewing gallery packed with many of their friends and families.
Following the singing of O Canada and a welcoming prayer from Edna Felix of the Splatsin First Nation, Rysz issued an inaugural address celebrating the work done by the previous council over the past four years and pledging that the pace would continue for the next four.
“I would like to thank all those who put their names forward because it takes a lot of courage in order to run for council,” Rysz said.
He also thanked outgoing councillors Janna Simons and Todd Kyllo for their contributions over the past four years.
Rysz went on to speak of updating Sicamous’ official community plan, working on the community forest initiative, opening conversations with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to continue work on the highway corridor plan and securing grant funding for the Solsqua Sicamous Bridge replacement, among other accomplishments.
“At one stage, Sicamous used to be a campground community and we want to get it back; we’ve been working on this for almost four straight years. It’s complicated but we’re getting closer to it,” Rysz said.
Rysz also spoke about the proposed community wellness centre which is a major part of the community’s doctor recruitment strategy.
“It’s hard to get doctors to come to small communities like ours, but we will get this done because it’s imperative. If we don’t, then people will probably not consider moving here.”
He also said he was proud of the previous council’s accomplishment in helping to save Parkview Elementary from closure.
Rysz praised the work of District of Sicamous staff in bringing visions agreed upon around the council table to fruition.
“We have no intentions of taking our foot off the gas. This is a great group we have here. I’m really excited about working with this group,” Rysz said.“There’s a lot of components of these initiatives that need to be finalized and so we will be working very hard to get that done. It is our mandate.”
The newly-inaugurated council took their first action as a group, selecting both Sicamous’ representative on the CSRD board and a deputy mayor.
Things remained status quo for Sicamous’ CSRD board representative, with Rysz acting as CSRD director and Makayev acting as his alternate.
Makayev will also remain Sicamous’ deputy mayor, running council meetings when Rysz is absent.