New Spa­niard’s Bay coun­cil sworn in

Long­time mayor John Drover says good­bye

The Compass - - COMPASS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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.

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