By-law to change head of council title from Reeve to Mayor passes third reading
By Don Norman
On Tuesday March 24, a skeleton crew of councillors met in the chambers at the RM of Alexander office. Only Reeve (by the end of the meeting he became the Mayor, see below) Brisco and councillors Dubé and Kinghorn.
Assistant CAO Michelle Stefaniuk was also in attendance. However, Councillors Corrie and Danwich were teleconferenced in, as was CAO Don Dowle. Dowle and Councillor Corrie were self-isolating. Councillor Danwich was in the midst of his 14 day quarantine after arriving back in Canada from his ordeal in Spain.
The attendees in the room were all separated by a significant distance. A table was set up in one corner for the Assistant CAO and there was also a table was set up in the other corner of the room for the press (me). Before being allowed to enter into the building, I was asked if I had any symptoms of COVID-19 (I didn’t).
Very little debate was heard on the various agenda items. The meeting was largely to make sure checks were signed, and the business of the municipality carried on uninterrupted. Many issues that didn’t have critical timelines were tabled until council can get meet in person to discuss more effectively.
However, one newsworthy by-law was passed. An organizational by-law that officially changes the head of council from Reeve to Mayor received its second and third readings. The motion carried and so going forward, Jack Brisco’s title is now officially Mayor Brisco and Mac Kinghorn is Deputy Mayor. The costs for this change are minimal and will mostly involve a “search and replace” function applied to all municipal documents.
The change mirrors a trend in rural municipal governments to move away from the somewhat antiquated word “reeve”. The RM of St. Clements is an example of another local government that made the change. The idea is to address the fact that many people who first encounter a rural municipality are unfamiliar with the word “reeve”.