Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Outgoing mayor and councillors make their farewells

The special session of council on Monday night provided the opportunity for some farewell addresses from the soon to be former mayor and councillors of this past municipal council session.

With Herb Pond and Ken Cote not seeking re-election and Tony Brigilio edged out at the polls, Monday was their final public session in their positions. While they took care of the final bit of city business on their watch, there was a bit of time for remembrances of their time on council.

For Herb Pond, it brings an end to a number of years on the local municipal scene with the ever circulating possibility that his next calling may be to seek out elected provincial office, something we will no doubt learn more about as we get closer to next May’s provincial election.

While his last few months have been rather controversial on council, those issues have not detracted from his supporters strong beliefs in his abilities and reputation, as could be found in a letter to the editor from Monday’s Daily News.

For the record as they say, we provide that salute to the Mayor as well as the Daily News coverage of that last council session from Tuesday’s paper.

Emotional farewell at City Hall
Outgoing mayor and councillors bid a fond goodbye at meeting
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Pages one and two

Monday’s special city council meeting was an evening of emotions as three members of council, including Mayor Herb Pond, bid 424 Third Avenue West adieu.

Pond, along with councillors Tony Briglio and Ken Cote, had their final evening in the council chambers and, while the business of council was to be carried on, there was a sense of finality to the evening.

“I’ve got to say it is one of the most humbling experiences to have your sign carried around town,” said Pond on the subject of having been through several election processes during the last 15 years.

Pond commended the outgoing council as one of the most exceptional councils in B. C.

“Each and every member of council has come in and – even when the discussion is tough – this council leaves the room laughing, believing in the democratic process.”

Briglio, who will be stepping down as Northwest Regional Health District chair by Dec. 1, also presented Pond with a plaque from NRHD for his support and service toward the organization.

The city council called for the special council meeting to finish off some last-minute issues that had been sitting on the council’s plate including supporting the Annual Guns and Hoses Hockey Game between the fire department and the RCMP, and deciding whether or not the city should allow 36 horses on Patullo field, which took on a bit of debate in the council meeting.

City council was recommended by staff to consider information from management to make a decision whether or not to allow the 36-horse RCMP drill team to practice and perform on Patullo field, as well as stable the horses in the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre Arena next summer.

Even though council was not voting on whether or not to allow the team on the field, councillors ended up in much ado about nothing as they debated the uncertain costs associated with the event.

The debate began as councillor Joy Thorkelson said she was concerned about the condition of the field after the horses had performed, believing the field would be left in ruins and impossible to play soccer on.

“I read the report and think we shouldn’t do it (there),” said Thorkelson.

She added that possibly the Watson Island pulp mill site would be a more appropriate location.

Other councillors shared similar concerns, including Kathy Bedard who said if they allowed the team to perform on the field the city should charge a fee.

“That way, we could recover the cost for repairing damage,” said Bedard.

“Quite frankly, I was hoping that they would wait a year because it is huge cost and it’s going to cost the community.”

City Council voted to allow the next council to make the decision.

Letter to the Editor
Prince Rupert Daily News
Monday, November 25, 2008
Page four

Mayor Pond served us well

To the editor,

I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Mr. Herb Pond for his years of service to our community, both as mayor, council member and citizen.

I have known Herb and his lovely wife, Sandy, for over 20 years. From the day they arrived to Prince Rupert they have been true Rupert boosters.

Mr. Pond has been a tremendous ambassador for Prince Rupert on the provincial, national and international stage.

I would like to compliment him for remaining so poised when under pressure.

Mr. Pond has always had a unique understanding that when you enter politics you somehow become public property.

Despite unfair personal attacks and gossip, Mr. Pond has always been able to put things in perspective, and rise above the nonsense.

I wish Mayor Pond and Mrs. Pond nothing but the best and certainly hope that their future is a long and healthy one – right here in Prince Rupert.

Ann Rowse

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