Amherst’s new town council was sworn in during a special session held at the Community Credit Union Innovation Centre on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.
Officially taking their seats were Mayor David Kogon and councillors Hal Davidson, Sheila Christie, Leon Landry, Lisa Emery, George Baker and Dale Fawthrop, all of whom were elected during the Oct. 17, 2020, municipal election and sworn in by the Hon. Carole A. Beaton, a Justice in Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.
Each swore or affirmed allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors according to law, confirmed they were qualified to hold the office of town councillor and would “faithfully and impartially execute the duties of the office to which (they had) been elected to the best of (their) knowledge and ability.”
They also swore or affirmed that they have not received and will not receive “any payment or reward or promise thereof for the exercise of any partiality or other undue execution of the duties of (their) office.”
After being sworn in, they each took their seat on council in the first in-person session since the COVID-19 pandemic hit last spring, though each sat two metres apart and were wearing masks in order to meet Nova Scotia public health orders.
In their first official act, the new council voted to appoint Hal Davidson as the deputy-mayor for a one-year term.
Noting the town is in “terrific shape fiscally and socially,” Kogon said increasing the town’s labour force and overall population as well as leading the town through the COVID-19 pandemic are among the challenges the incoming council will face during its term in office.
“I am positive this group of councillors is up to the task,” the mayor said. “I am also very optimistic the future of Amherst will be a positive one. Go ‘A’ team.”
The mayor also praised the town staff, led by CAO Greg Herrett and the senior management team, for “the great job they do.”
“Coming from the previous council, Sheila and I both recognize this and I’m sure that the rest of the incoming council appreciates this as well,” Kogon said. “An effective council, working with a capable, hard-working town staff, is the recipe for success. We have that here in the Town of Amherst.”