It’s official: Tantramar council sworn in and ready to go

Rear L-R: Councillors Barry Hicks, Josh Goguen, Michael Tower, Bruce Phinney. Front: L-R: Councillors Debbie Wiggins-Colwell, Matt Estabrooks, Mayor Andrew Black, Councillor Greg Martin, CAO Jennifer Borne

“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.)

Mayor-elect Andrew Balck

“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

CAO Jennifer Borne talking with a reporter after swearing-in ceremony

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.

Mayor-elect Andrew Black with his father John & son Roman at swearing-in ceremony

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9 Responses to It’s official: Tantramar council sworn in and ready to go

  1. Wayne Feindel Puppet of the People says:

    It appears the Mayor elect Andrew black is hopeful as well. Admitting he doesn’t shy away from talking about the absurdity of the {municipal }reform process. I don’t understand this either. As a councilor Andrew black sees that the whole amalgamation process is going to burst into flames. So he found himself on the flammable dirigible donned on a parachute and jumped out of the Hindenburg. If I might quote Herbert Morison ,”Oh the humanity ! ” when describing the Hindenburg disaster. The idiom, “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.” doesn’t fit the word absurdity As if this would not be pointless enough rearranging useless furniture what with inflation, rising debt, resurgence of Covid variants, the Mayor elect thinks it is a good idea to add more deck chairs to a failing system .Ummmm…Chad Peters $1000 a day ( a new firehall), plus Human Resource (Death of Transparency) person… and that folks is more than absurd, it is loony tunes. I can still remember these words. “good ideas always come back, you just don’t understand what is happening because we need more staff (23 to be precise) because there is never enough money, time or staff to meet our strategies, and because we so value the people who can set priorities to get the limited resources to where they are most needed. (Oh it’s so stressful not being valued, “A 4 day week is so stressful where’s my pet? RUFFLES!!!!!!!)
    So there you have it you tight wad cheap citizens who don’t value what you are getting. THERE IS NO MONEY except in “them there’d Tantramar hay fields.”
    Really folks just the tip of the iceberg the collapsing downtown literally and the shuttering of Tim’s and closure of Pizza hut is just the start.
    Go forth and do well new councilors.

    • Tantramarshire says:

      Hilarious… thank you. You really have a way with the words.

    • Mike Gallant says:

      Thank you Wayne. I do enjoy your posts and wish the new Mayor and Council well – at least they’ve stepped up. I’m intrigued by this “Communication Officer” for a town this small. Surely Mayor and Council could feed us a few gainsburgers from time to time? And the HR officer – yes, the death of transparency as you’ve so aptly put it. On the other side of the coin, I’m not so understanding of the public’s “need to know”? Aside from the gossip value, what is it they need to know? How will it enrich their understanding and appreciation of Town management? The answer is “It’s mostly none of your business “ – I know – taxpayer money at stake here but is it really anyone’s (public) business that, just to take a hypothetical example, a director of this (former) town might have had an brief/romantic affair with another employee? That a current Councillor might have been drunk online (during Covid) while doing online Council business? These would be serious missives – not really. Nobody cares……

  2. Geoff Martin says:

    I will be interested to see the 2023 budget, passed by the provincially appointed facilitator. The tax rates will be set in stone, and I am worried that the coming tax increases will be a hardship for many people in a time of hardship. I am worried that too much money will never leave the town hall, going to increased council compensation and new staff positions, as well as other pay increases (based on parity) now that we’re a bigger municipality. People in the former LSDs need to see new projects and services that actually benefit them if this new municipality is going to be legitimate. And maybe the same is true for residents of the former town and village.

  3. Wayne Feindel Puppet of the People says:

    That’s it in a nut shell. Everywhere almost in every Department, no one knows that the name plate on a door is supposed to actually mean something on the street.

  4. Mike Gallant says:

    Mmmmmm….. can’t wait until this site and CHMA have glowing and loving reports of the Mayor and selected (and former) members of council. I remain riveted….

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