Council for the Town of Teulon, which was elected in a by-election last December, held its first regular monthly meeting inside Teulon Civic Centre on Jan. 14. During the meeting, mayor Anna Pazdzierski said three words which may provide some relief to local residents: “Back to normal.”
Unlike the infighting and discord which plagued the previous town council, Padzierski, along with deputy mayor Cherise Griffin and councillors Todd Campbell, Robin Nishibata and Angela Green are working together to get the town’s affairs in order, including the hiring of new municipal staff.
“We’re slowly getting organized, figuring out what we need to do,” Pazdzierski, who was sworn in with council at a special meeting on Dec. 19, told The Stonewall Argus and Teulon Times. “The hardest part is just sorting out what our priorities are and what we need to work on first.”
One of the town’s first hires is interim CAO James Fenske, who had previously worked with the City of Selkirk. His duties for the next “two or three months” according to Pazdzierski is to educate council on The Municipal Act and to assist in the hiring a permanent CAO. With more work to be done over the next little while, the mayor has been amazed at local residents’ collective patience.
“It’s been a very slow beginning and I just can’t acknowledge enough how I appreciate everyone’s patience and hanging in there, helping us make change,” she said.
One of those changes will be to make correspondence, excluding personnel or legal issues, and motions available for residents to read on council meeting agendas posted on the town’s website.
“Anyone who’s interested can log on and see what we’re working on,” Pazdzierski said. “We’re hoping in this way that everyone is as informed as possible of the process the mayor and council are taking.”
The council meeting on Jan. 14 lasted only 20 minutes, but council passed two by-laws returning authority for the mayor to govern the Town of Teulon and to “regulate the proceedings and conduct of the council and committees.” Pazdzierski, citing conflict of interest, did not vote on the motions.