New CK mayor, councillors take office Monday
A member of council coming in for his second term is offering up some advice to the nine new faces that will be sworn in Monday night.
Ward 2 Councillor Trevor Thompson knows the feeling of joining council for the first time. He was first elected in 2014 and this time around, in addition to his regular duties, he hopes to take on another role.
“In the second term it’s a new role for me as well, I’m trying to take on more of a leadership and mentorship role on council,” said Thompson. “I think that’s important. I got that from a number of councillors my first time around so I want to return the favour.”
Thompson said although it can be nervewracking before the inauguration, the ceremony itself is pretty straightforward and the real fun comes afterwards.
“It’s the responsibilities and the excitement the first time you sit down at the council table and you start debating an issue,” Thompson said. “It’s the feeling that I remember and it never really goes away. Whenever you’re speaking, its a big important issue to you and there’s some weight riding on every word you say. That feeling doesn’t go away, I’ve never lost that feeling.”
In October, the election results were monumental when seven women were elected to Chatham-Kent council, the most since amalgamation in 1998. Thompson also noted that many members of the new council will be younger than previous years and said he’s excited for the different representations that will come from the wide variety of backgrounds.
Regardless of gender or age, Thompson has some final bits of sage wisdom for the all incoming members — never expect an easy win, take everything step by step and work hard for every issue.
“More than anything, you have to pick your battles and the council table,” said Thompson. “No matter what happens you need to continue to work together, not only for you but for the good of the community and the municipality.”
The swearing-in ceremony for the new municipal councillors will start at 6 p.m. Monday at the John D. Bradley Convention Centre Ballroom and it is open to the public.