Skip to content

Creston's new town council sworn in

Six town councillors and a mayor were sworn in at a ceremony at Creston Town Hall on Monday night...
Creston’s new town council was sworn in on Monday: (from left) Couns. Joanna Wilson

Nearly a month after voters chose them, six town councillors and a mayor were sworn in at a ceremony at Creston Town Hall on Monday night.

Ron Toyota will serve his second term as mayor, with Judy Gadicke, Tanya Ducharme, Jerry Schmalz, Joanna Wilson and Wesly Graham all returning to positions they held before the Nov. 19 election. The only new face in the crowd, Scott Veitch, assumes a vacancy left by Len Folkman, who retired after serving for 12 years as a councillor.

The swearing-in ceremonies were conducted by town manager Lou Varela, with assistance from retired Lutheran minister Harry Haberstock.

Haberstock presented Toyota with the symbolic chain of office, pointing out the symbols that represent the area’s natural environment and it’s economic diversity.

“My first term as your mayor started three years ago and the first year was a tremendous learning curve,” Toyota said in his inaugural address. “I am now comfortable with our local governance, community charter, municipal policies and bylaws, and our regional district procedures. I am proud of our council accomplishments during our first term of office and I believe we have created a firm and solid foundation that we will build up in the next three years.”

“A special thanks to my wife, Judy, and my family members living in the Creston Valley for their continued support, especially during my campaign to be re-elected as your mayor.”

Toyota said that the election campaign provided an opportunity to “listen, learn and understand that citizens have genuine and valid concerns.”

“I will be able to address some of these issues in the next three years,” he said. “Your newly elected council commences duties starting tonight and we will continue with our ‘strategic goals and planning’ as the previous council has set out. Our top priorities continue to be economic development, physician recruitment, highway realignment to remove heavy truck traffic from our downtown main street and upgrading our waste water treatment plant.”

Appointments of council representatives to select committees and community and government organizations will be made at a special meeting on Tuesday.

Coun. Jerry Schmalz was acclaimed to the alternate director position and will represent council as a Regional District of Central Kootenay director when Toyota is absent.

The accounting firm of Gadicke, Minichiello and Carr will once again handle auditing of the town finances. Coun. Gadicke, wife of the one of the partners, declared herself to be in a position of conflict and left council chambers while the decision was made.