“We find ourselves here tonight as the new council of the Town of Tantramar being sworn in, in the Village of Dorchester and that is a fantastic start to the next four years,” Mayor-elect Andrew Black declared to an audience of about 75 gathered Tuesday in Dorchester’s Veterans Community Centre.
His brief speech was part of an upbeat, 20-minute ceremony to swear-in all but one of the new members of Tantramar council. (Councillor-elect Allison Butcher is scheduled to take her oath of office at the first council meeting in January.)
“We have an amazing opportunity before us to be the first council of the Town of Tantramar and to do the best we possibly can for this community, to set the bar incredibly high over the next four years and to set a precedent for years and years to come,” Black said while also noting that the next few years will be difficult and occasionally chaotic.
“There will be challenges and there will be obstacles…remember that obstacles are those frightful things that you see when you take your eyes off the prize and that being challenged in life is inevitable, but defeat is optional.”
In a brief interview later, Black said the future looks both scary and exciting.
When asked why he used the word “scary,” he referred to the many uncertainties ahead in the new amalgamated municipality.
“I’ve never been one who has shied away from talking about the absurdity of the [municipal] reform process,” he said, adding that starting in January, council will have to make it work.
“There’s a lot of unknowns still and that part of it is scary, but also exciting.”
To read a transcript of Black’s remarks, click here.
CAO stresses teamwork
In her speech, Tantramar Chief Administrative Officer Jennifer Borne stressed the need to respect history while promoting teamwork.
“We must commit to preserving local identities of individual areas that are coming together and continue to promote local interests as we move forward with a one-community mindset,” she said.
Borne referred to the COVID-19 pandemic as she explained that even bigger challenges may lie ahead.
“The pandemic and municipal reform helped us prove just how resilient we are,” she said.
“We have been in training for this very moment and now, it is our time to shine. I am confident that we will turn adversity into opportunity.”
New municipal departments
Meantime, Mayor-elect Andrew Black told reporters he likes the new organizational structure for the Town of Tantramar that CAO Jennifer Borne outlined in a recent interview with CHMA reporter Erica Butler.
Black said he especially liked the plan to hire a manager of human resources as well as a corporate communications officer.
The plan would also see current Sackville Treasurer Michael Beal reassigned from financial services to a new department called corporate compliance.
For full details, click here.