Saskatoon’s new mayor and council got one last chance to savour their election wins before getting down to the business of running the city.
Mayor Charlie Clark and the new council were sworn in Monday night in front of a packed city council chamber.
Having accepted the mayor’s chain of office from Queen’s Bench Justice R. Shawn Smith, Clark said the reality of his responsibilities had fully set in.
“We are going into a time when we’re going to have to face some issues. I mean, we’re not seeing the same growth as we’ve seen in the past. Obviously, we have the budget coming up. But, what gives me confidence is I think we have a very good council,” he said.
Rookie Ward 8 Coun. Sarina Gersher said she was honoured to take her oath, and is now looking forward to completing three days of orientation with administration officials.
“Yeah, I got a 400 page document to start as my welcome to council,” she said with a chuckle.
Celebrating his second electoral win, Ward 10 Coun. Zach Jeffries said he’s already seen his inbox traffic turn from messages of congratulations on the win to constituents raising concerns.
He said he expects to make some challenging decisions in the next four years.
“All of us in this chamber here that have been elected worked exceptionally hard to earn the trust of our neighbours and our friends,” he said. “And it’s just really nice to have a bit of a celebration today before we get down to work.”
In his opening remarks as mayor, Clark thanked outgoing mayor Don Atchison and long-serving city councillor Pat Lorje, who lost her bid for re-election in Ward 2, for their service.
He also took a moment to acknowledge the sacrifices his wife and children made during the campaign, before noting even a mayor doesn’t always get everything he wants — the kids opted to take a pass on the ceremony in favour of getting out to trick-or-treat.
“In some ways they’ve been overwhelmed by the election already and the amount of activity, so it wasn’t too difficult of a decision for them. But they’re out having fun,” he said with a laugh.