PORT HARDY—Councillor Debbie Huddlestan took over the reigns as acting mayor, as Port Hardy’s councillors shuffled roles in the wake of Mayor Bev Parnham’s sudden passing late last month.
“Every year council makes its appointments to the various committees, both internal and external,” explained Director of Corporate Services Jeff Long. “As a result of the mayor’s passing obviously we have to fill certain roles with our existing council to make up for that.”
As of June 1 the power of the mayor’s office passed from Coun. Jessie Hemphill to Huddlestan according to the prearranged deputy mayor schedule, in place to cover absences from the office. Acting Mayor Huddlestan will retain the role until municipal elections in November except for the period Aug. 27 – Oct. 4, which will see Coun. John Tidbury take the mantle of Deputy Mayor to cover her vacation.
Council members brought forward a series of motions from an in-camera session to fill roles on the Regional District Board and various committees left vacant by Mayor Parnham’s passing. Coun Janet Dorward will take over on the RDMW and Hospital Boards with the acting mayor taking the alternate slot. Coun Huddlestan will also take a position on the Primary Health Care Working Group.
Other appointments included Coun. Tidbury to the Ferries Advisory Committee, Coun. Rick Marcotte to the Scott Islands Advisory Group and Coun. Hemphill as alternate on the Regional Library Board.
Council passed a motion to adopt a recommendation from the Community Consultative Committee to investigate “the possibility of using Mayor Bev Parnham’s namesake (e.g. Parnham Place) with respect to the naming of the new medical centre.”
“They just thought it would be prudent as the community committee to demonstrate their support for this (idea),” explained Coun. Hemphill.
Councillors expressed their backing for the idea, proposing and passing a follow-up motion to pen a letter to Island Health expressing support for the nomination.