Close partnerships with neighbouring local government representatives and communities play big in Mayor Terry Rysz’s vision for Sicamous’ future.
Malakwa in particular is ripe with opportunity beneficial to both communities and the region, said Rysz Monday evening, in a packed council chamber, following the formalities of the inaugural meeting of the newly-elected district council, and prior to a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Sicamous’ incorporation.
The meeting began with Rysz and Couns. Colleen Anderson, Gord Bushell, Todd Kyllo, Malcolm Makayev, Jeff Mallmes and Janna Simons taking the oath of office. Afterwards, council elected Makayev as deputy mayor and voted in designates to partner agencies. Rysz will represent the district on the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) board, with Makayev as alternate. Mallmes will represent Sicamous on the Okanagan Regional Library board, with Kyllo as alternate.
Rysz made light of council’s hesitation to put their hands up during this voting process.
“I notice they’re all kind of nervous about getting their hands up. Get used to it. Or get used to not putting your hands up,” joked Rysz.
Afterwards, Rysz delivered his inaugural address, in which he thanked and applauded the work of the former the former mayor, Darrell Trouton, and all those who served on council over the past three years. He then introduced the new council, thanking the community for their vote for change and entrusting the newly-elected council to “write an exciting chapter in the history of our town.”
“We intend to serve you and be accountable directly to you,” said Rysz. “We pledge to hear and be advocates for the opinions and issues of those who call this wonderful place home.”
The mayor then emphasized council’s desire to build strong relationships with district staff, businesses, residents, non-profit organizations, the chamber of commerce, Electoral Area E Rural Sicamous-Malakwa and CSRD director Rhona Martin, First Nations and various provincial and federal ministries.
“Together with good communication we can achieve a better out come for our common goals,” said Rysz.
Looking at the councillors to his left and right, Rysz said they intend to put their respective expertise to good use by allocating responsibilities for issues such as highways, health and welfare, services for seniors, community safety, job creation, economic development, parks, trails, tourism, community identification, marketing and the completion of the water treatment plant.
“I’m honoured that you have given me the opportunity to serve this community as your mayor,” Rysz concluded.