Outgoing Mayor Gerry Furney

Port McNeill swears in new mayor, council

PORT McNEILL—Outgoing Mayor Gerry Furney honoured in investiture ceremony after 46 years in elected office.

PORT McNEILL—In what was as much a celebration of the retirement of longtime mayor Gerry Furney, Port McNeill’s new mayor and council were sworn in Monday night before a standing-room only crowd in council chambers.

Incoming Mayor Shirley Ackland was joined by councillors Jay Dixon, Shelley Downey, Aaron Frost and Graham MacDonald in the brief ceremony, which was both opened and closed by Furney — who served on the Town’s first council and who spent 39 years as mayor before choosing not to run for office again this fall.

“This is a day in history,” Ackland said in a room bedecked with photos of past councils, nearly all of them bearing Furney’s likeness. “We’ve been very fortunate to have a mayor as long as we have leading our town and putting us on such a good foundation. As he’s said many times, it’s a job he’s enjoyed, serving this community, because he really cares about all of us who live here.”

Then, turning to Furney, Ackland added, “We hope we do you proud.”

Ackland is the lone returning member from the most recent municipal government, having served the past six years on council. Both Downey and Frost, though, return after previously serving on council — Downey from 2006-11 and Frost from 2008-11. Dixon, the principal at North Island Secondary School, and MacDonald, a small business owner, are first-time elected officials.Incoming Mayor Shirley Ackland, seated, is joined by RCMP Sgt. Craig Blanchard and new councillors Shelley Downey, Graham MacDonald, Jay Dixon and Aaron Frost following their swearing-in ceremony in Port McNeill Council chambers Monday, Dec. 1, 2014

Ackland followed the oath of office by acknowledging town staff, fire chief Chris Walker, RCMP Sgt. Craig Blanchard, North Island MLA Claire Trevena and municipal airport manager Bill Velie, a longtime friend and coffee-shop partner of Furney’s.

Also in the audience were outgoing councillors Grant Anderson and Gaby Wickstrom and various family members and friends of incoming and outgoing officials. Outgoing councillor Chris Sharpe was traveling in Alberta and sent his regrets.

Furney, in turn, thanked, “the lady who gets me dressed,” referring to his wife Carmel. In an unusual twist, perhaps to avoid speaking any further, Furney then offered to adjourn the meeting that he had opened a few minutes earlier.

Frost seconded the motion, and Ackland made it official, putting a stamp on what might have been Furney’s final official public engagement after serving as councillor or mayor for 46 years.

The meeting then broke up into a general meet-and-greet over a cake decorated with the Port McNeill Town flag design, as council posed for photos accompanied by Sgt. Blanchard in his red serge.

Trevena presented Furney with a gift of a copy of her Legislative statement on Furney and the Town of Port McNeill, as recorded during the B.C. Legislature’s session of Nov. 6.

The first official meeting for the incoming council is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 15, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

 

Just Posted

Port McNeill cannabis committee to recommend to mayor and council designated zones for commercial marijuana agriculture

The committee unanimously voted for cannabis cultivation in M-1 (Mine Road), M-2, and A-1 zones.

Cafe Guido manager spills the beans on new coffee shop drive-thru

“The core drink menu is the same, but there will be new drinks - new cold drinks and new food”

Arrest made in Port Alice mail bomb incident

A 73 year old resident of Whitehorse, Yukon, was arrested on September 13th and remains in custody.

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

VIDEO: Deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: Deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

First court date for B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Pot, cash, mansions: Judge divvies up illegal estate of divorcing B.C. couple

The Smiths ran a multi-million marijuana operation that spanned three counties

‘Little Feet’ book documents B.C. woman’s horrific 2001 accident

Heather Williams has documented the two profound stages beforeand after the accident

Around the BCHL: Nanaimo Clippers acquire defenceman from Langley Rivermen

Around the BCHL is a look at goings on around the BCHL and the junior A world.

Most Read