By Andrew Wagstaff
PARRSBORO?- The formalities are over, and a new mayor and council are in charge at town hall.
Lois Smith was sworn in as Parrsboro's new mayor at a special council meeting on Dec. 16, in front of a packed crowd that also witnessed the swearing-in of new councillor Lisa Ward.
First Ward, and then Smith held their hands on a Bible while town CAO Ray Hickey officially swore them into their new posts.
"It's a great time for Parrsboro to have its first female mayor," announced Coun. David Harrison, to a healthy round of applause.
Harrison, who had served as acting mayor since the resignation of Doug Robinson in September, then handed over the meeting to Smith, who did not take the upper seat normally held by the mayor, but rather sat at the head of the table with the councillors.
Ward was elected to the council seat vacated by Smith, who decided to run for mayor following Robinson's resignation. The former mayor passed away in October after a battle with leukemia.
Smith, who said she was excited to see so many members of the public on hand for the swearing-in, took the opportunity to thank those who have stepped up during a difficult time.
"I would be remiss if I did not thank David Harrison, who has been acting mayor since we've had some sad times in Parrsboro, and he did a very good job in keeping us all in line," she said. "I also want to thank the council members, who had a difficult time as well, just being in their new positions, and I do want to welcome our new member."
Smith reiterated her desire expressed during the election campaign to hold informal meetings a couple of times per year, in which townspeople can come in to town hall for a morning and discuss town issues over coffee.
She also reminded those present that committee-of-the-whole and regular council meetings are open to the public, and that the next such meeting would be the January committee-of-the-whole meeting on Jan. 19.
Immediate business would see the shuffling of the various council committees to make room for Ward, while the mayor said she would remain a presence on four of the committees she previously served as a councillor: personnel, Cape Chignecto Provincial Park management board, Parrsboro and Area Harbour Commission and Parrsboro Youth Town Council liaison.
The new mayor made no promises, other than that she and council would serve the town as best as they could.
"We will try our best," she pledged. "We can't perform miracles, as most of you know, but we would certainly like you to come to the council meetings, and share with us some of the difficulties that we will have in the next three years."
By Andrew Wagstaff