It was his mom, Nina, 90, and late father, Ivan, who implanted in newly elected Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming a commitment to community betterment and service.
Wearing a tie belonging to his late father, and holding a souvenir stick from the South Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu, Cumming delivered his first address to Vernon council, but not before thanking the city for helping his mom vote.
“My sister (Pat, in attendance) and I had a great time taking my mom from her apartment to vote. The staff treated her warmly and that was appreciative,” said Cumming, who also had three of his four children – Scott, Jason and Kate, and wife Mary-Ann – in the audience. “My dad would be energized by this evening. He’d be laughing at one or more of the jokes.”
Vernon said Cumming, “is a beautiful city that has some unique physical and economic settings.” There are great opportunities, he said, and consistently experienced challenges.
“We know those challenges,” said Cumming. “We are blessed with capable, imaginative, committed and energetic people, and that includes our staff, focused on strengthening the life and work in Greater Vernon. What an asset to build on.”
With references to topics like attainable and affordable housing, parks and recreation, infrastructure and transportation corridors, Cumming and his council are eager to have their term in office begin.
“I sense the new members and incumbents feel the weight of the responsibility that will guide us for the next four years. Let’s remember that. It’s significant,” said Cumming.
“My vision is that this council team works strong together. We don’t have to agree. We have to work the issues, take the tasks seriously and, at the same time, have the wisdom, personal humility and self-reflection to not take ourselves to seriously. It’s a great honour to be elected to help lead in these quickly changing times. Here we go.”
Cumming thanked his predecessor, current councillor Akbal Mund, for displaying a “gentlemanly style” during the election campaign and for showing respect during the transition process.
He also thanked outgoing councillors Juliette Cunningham, Catherine Lord and the late Bob Spiers for their dedication and service to the community.