Morden Mayor Brandon Burley says there's a lot of new vigor and enthusiasm for the direction of the city around the Council table, and says that's exciting.
The inaugural meeting of Morden City Council was held last week where Burley and the six city councilors were sworn into office. Florian Lassnig and Sheldon Friesen are new to the Council, joining incumbents Doug Frost, Garry Hiebert, Nancy Penner, and Gord Maddock. Burley was acclaimed to the mayoral role for a second term.
"Sheldon Friesen is a longtime business owner in the City of Morden," said Burley. "Flo Lassnig is an Osteopathic Doctor in the City of Morden who's been up to Council meetings for the last year and has a lot of energy and a lot of creativity. I think they bring a new perspective to Council and certainly will do well in their roles."
Council orientation was held last Friday, and Burley says it was a great opportunity to get to know the new councilors and integrate them into their current structure and body.
Burley says the Council took time to re-assess committee appointments as well during their initial meeting.
"It's really interesting to see six different people being interested in so many different things and being interested in such a diverse array of things, in particular sometimes things you don't expect a counselor to be interested in. The one that always gets me is Councilor Hiebert's absolute love for the Vet Board and the Library Board. So it's neat to see that come out in Council, and I think if we play to our strengths over the next four years we'll be in a good position."
Meantime, Burley says the number one priority for Council in this new term is getting the issue of wastewater solved for the community. "Not because it's glorious, but because without it, nothing happens," said Burley. Affordable housing is also a priority item.
Burley says there is some positive momentum in the area of recreation on this council as well. "If we maintain the order of things properly, we'll be well positioned to be able to move positively."
Councilors will serve on these committees accordingly:
• Lake Minnewasta Committee: Sheldon Friesen, Florian Lassnig
• Police Board: Nancy Penner, Gord Maddock, Florian Lassnig;
• Cemetery Committee: Nancy Penner as Chair; Garry Hiebert;
• Menzies Medical Center: Doug Frost;
• Central MB Tourism: Gord Maddock;
• Community Futures: Sheldon Friesen;
• Daycare Board: Doug Frost, Gord Maddock;
• Tabor Home Board: Garry Hiebert;
• Pembina Valley Local Immigration Partnership: Florian Lassnig, with Gord Maddock as Alternate;
• Explore Morden-Winkler: Florian Lassnig;
• MSTW Planning District: Doug Frost, Garry Hiebert, with Sheldon Friesen as Alternate;
• Morden Stanley Fire Service: Doug Frost;
• Vet District Board: Garry Hiebert;
• Airport Authority: Doug Frost, Sheldon Friesen;
• Pembina Valley Water Coop: Nancy Penner with Sheldon Friesen as Alternate;
• Pembina Valley Watershed District: Sheldon Friesen;
• South Central Regional Library: Garry Hiebert with Florian Lassnig as Alternate;
• SWAMP Committee: Nancy Penner, Gord Maddock