Hawkesbury has a new town council.
Mayor Paula Assaly and the councillors elected in October were sworn in at Monday’s inaugural meeting.
One by one, residents, friends, and family members filed into the community hall at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex and signed the town’s golden book as guests.
Lawrence Bogue, Raymond Campbell, André Chamaillard, Robert Lefebvre, Yves Paquette, and Antonios Tsourounakis will serve as councillors until the next election in 2022.
Master of ceremonies Bobby Lalonde welcomed everyone. He and Suzanne Hocquard led the singing of O Canada.
One by one, the new councillors took the oath of office before Judge Marc D’Amours of the Ontario Court of Justice, and then signed the golden book.
Chief Administrative Officer Daniel Gatien made a few remarks to the new council. He emphasized teamwork and said a lot of different subjects would be covered over the term ahead.
“It will be interesting and a lot of work indeed, I wish you all luck,” said Gatien.
In her first speech as mayor, Paula Assaly described the community as a collective with “unrealized potential.”
She promised to engage citizens with dialogue, exchange ideas, communicate, and share.
Assaly also outlined poverty reduction as one of her key priorities and encouraging “pride in a re-awakened town.”
Judge D’Amours presented the new mayor with the chain of office.
The inaugural meeting was not all ceremony though. Council got down to business.
The first priority was designating councillors to sit on the town’s various boards and committees.
Councillors Lawrence Bogue, André Chamaillard, and Yves Paquette are the new members of the Hawkesbury Hydro board.
The new council representative on the public library board is Antonios Tsourounakis.
Councillor Robert Lefebvre will be on the police services board.
Lawrence Bogue is the council representative on the COMZAC-BIA board.
Mayor Assaly is going to serve on the cultural committee.
Councillor André Chamaillard was appointed to the recycling committee.
The new council also had another personnel matter to attend to.
Fire chief Roger Champagne is on sick leave for an unspecified reason until the end of December.
Council appointed firefighter Daniel Gascon as acting fire chief for the remainder of Champagne’s absence.