New Spaniard’s Bay council sworn in
Longtime mayor John Drover says goodbye
Retiring Spaniard’s Bay mayor John Drover spent one last night in the council chambers on Oct. 7.
The longtime municipal leader swore in the newly elected council during its first meeting.
In front of former municipal officials and the local MHA, Drover moved from councillor to councillor and welcomed them to council.
Whether it was a new councillor, or someone who has served with Drover in the past, he welcomed them all the same way — with a hearty handshake and, in some cases, a hug.
Reaching J. Wayne Smith, his successor, Drover offered the same.
As Smith read from a sheet of paper, his right hand placed on the Bible, Drover stood stoically.
Once Smith was finished, the former mayor reached into a black, leather holder and placed the chain of office around Smith’s neck.
In one final act, Drover placed the wooden gavel in Smith’s hands. It signified the passing of the torch, the changing of the guard, if you will.
“It’s mixed emotions,” said Drover. “But, in my heart and soul, I knew it was time.”
He had a few words to say on his 29 years in office. Afterwards, the some 30 people in attendance gave Drover a standing ovation. It was something that would happen once more before the ceremony was over.
“I was very humbled with the recognition that the group did give me,” he said. “It was certainly unexpected.”
When asked if he had any words of advice for Smith, Drover said, “Just do the best you can.”
After the ceremony was finished, it was necessary to nominate the deputy mayor. Two councillors, including former deputy mayor Tony Menchions, nominated newcomer Paul Brazil for the position.
Brazil finished with the highest number of votes amongst councillors in the election with 938.
Brazil accepted the nomination. When no other nominations came forward, he was named the new deputy mayor.
He who would be mayor
Smith’s tenure as mayor in Spaniard’s Bay officially started during the swearing in ceremony when he chaired his first council meeting. However, it didn’t unofficially start until a week after the municipal elections on Sept. 24.
Smith’s challenger, former councillor Brenda Seymour, had requested, and was granted, a judicial recount on Oct. 2.
The mayor retained his position when provincial court judge Robert Hyslop upheld the election night results, though the margin of victory was reduced from 12 to nine.
Smith previously served 24 years as the town’s clerk/manager.
With that, and the swearing in behind him, Smith said he is looking forward to getting started with the new council.
“We’ve got a pretty heavy agenda,” the mayor said.
Once the committees have been established, the town will start breaking down and delivering its 2014 operating budget.
“We have the Tilton development,” said Smith.
He said the town hopes to sit down with all of the players involved and discuss the next step in the megaproject.
“We know everything is not going to happen this fall, but we’re hoping to get some work done,” said Smith.
Succeeding someone with the experience of Drover can be a daunting task. However, Smith said there is no undue pressure in coming after the former mayor.
“John has done an excellent job for the town over the years and it’s really sad to see him go,” said the mayor.
Retiring mayor John Drove r g ave h i s goodbye address during the meeting.
Coun. Sherri Collins returns for another four years on council.
Newly elected councillor Lewis E. Sheppard.
New Spaniard’s Bay Mayo r J . Wayne Smith.
Returning councillor Eric D. Jewer.
Coun. Tony Dominix.