Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky (front centre) and councillors Juliette Cunningham (front left)

Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky (front centre) and councillors Juliette Cunningham (front left)

Vernon’s new council officially on the job

Rob Sawatzky takes oath of office and becomes Vernon's new mayor during special ceremony

All of the pomp and circumstance couldn’t detract from the workload awaiting Vernon’s new council.

Retired physician Rob Sawatzky was sworn in as mayor during the inaugural council meeting Monday.

“There is the feeling that things can be quite daunting but it will be great,” he said of his new duties, which immediately includes developing the 2012 budget and hiring a new administrative officer.

Wayne Lippert, who was not re-elected to a third term Nov. 19, was on hand to present Sawatzky with the chain of office.

“Wear it with pride and honour and remember that you represent all citizens of Vernon,” said Lippert.

Also swearing their oath of office Monday were  councillors Juliette Cunningham, Catherine Lord, Patrick Nicol, Mary-Jo O’Keefe, Brian Quiring and Bob Spiers.

They received some advice from Buffy Baumbrough, who was on council for six years and decided not to seek re-election.

“The electorate has tasked you with making decisions on behalf of the community,” she said.

“It will not be an easy or simple task.”

Baumbrough and Lippert, as well as Jack Gilroy and Shawn Lee, who lost their council seats Nov. 19, were honoured for their service to the community.

As part of Monday’s meeting, appointments were made to city committees and outside agencies such as the Regional District of North Okanagan.

Read Wednesday’s Morning Star for more details.