Fruitvale’s inaugural council meeting was short and sweet on Tuesday evening with only a few items on the agenda.
Mayor Patricia Cecchini read her Mayor’s Address to Council at the beginning of the meeting, thanking the councillors and looking towards the future.
“It is difficult for me to express the feelings of humility, pride and most importantly, excitement that I am experiencing here this evening,” she began.
“I am honoured that the citizens have placed in me, and (the councillors) as fellow members of council, their trust and confidence to address the many challenges that lay before us. I feel such pride in our home of Fruitvale, I am proud to live here and I am proud that our residents enjoy the life in Fruitvale.”
After accepting the minutes from the last two council meetings, the councillors around the table had the task of choosing their representative for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.
Veteran council member Tabatha Webber nominated Cecchini to continue in her role as Fruitvale Director for the RDKB and the mayor accepted.
James Ellison, a new face in Fruitvale council chambers, nominated incumbent councillor Bert Kniss for the job of alternate director with the RDKB, but the councillor said he couldn’t do it.
“I am going to have to decline that,” said Kniss. “I just have too many other things going right now.”
When Kniss passed on the nomination, Ellison nominated Webber, who accepted.
Before the meeting was called, Cecchini spoke with individual councillors about other committee appointments.
First time councillors Ellison and Stephen Morissette, are already getting their feet wet in municipal governance with appointments to several committees.
Councillor Ellison has been named to the Chamber of Commerce and the Beaver Valley Water Service Committee, and will be acting as Spirit Events and Trails liaison.
Morissette will be joining Kniss on the Finance and Budget Committee and was appointed to the Lower Columbia Community Development Team and Tourism Committee.
The Personnel Committee added one this year, with Cecchini as the chair and Morissette and Webber lending a hand.
After committee appointments were made, Councillor Kniss wanted to ensure that there was an opportunity to revisit the list to make changes in the future.
“I would just like to see the new councillors get various opportunities,” he said. “I would like to see an annual review of these roles.”
He was told that there already was a review of committee appointments and if any councillor wanted to make a change, it would be looked at.
Amendments to the Five-Year Financial Plan were on the agenda at the meeting, with more money being spent is some areas and less in others.
The cemetery expansion budget was decreased by $31,000, carrying forward the amount in the village’s budget. Documents explain that the money was initially to go towards lawn crypts, but no purchases were made this past year.
The village spent more than planned on the sewer main re-alignment and lift station feasibility study, decreasing the sewer surplus by $12,000.
Among a few other minor changes, a planning grant that would have given Fruitvale $10,000 from the provincial government was cancelled.
The inaugural meeting closed out with a discussion about the 2015 meeting schedule and Jingle Down Main. The scheduling discussion ended with a consensus to keep it the same – regular council meetings on the first Monday of every month, with Committee of the Whole meetings on the third Monday.
Organizers are all set for the Jingle Down Main Christmas event, with very few details to iron out before Saturday.