Peterborough’s new city council and mayor were sworn in during an inauguration ceremony held at the Peterborough Public Library Monday night.
The ceremony was initially scheduled for next Monday, to be held prior to the first council meeting but the incoming mayor, Diane Therrien, suggested it would be more fitting to host the inauguration on a separate night and to allow the councillors along with their family and friends the opportunity to enjoy the occasion before the official work begins.
Peterborough city hall shuffles its upper management unexpectedly
“Traditionally it (swearing in) has been done in council chambers during the afternoon and so that restricts who can come and how many people can be there because there might only be 20 seats in there,” said Therrien.
It was standing room only as more than 175 people packed into the auditorium at the library to witness the swearing in of the new council and mayor.
Feel good evening at City Council swearing in. Very optimistic for the future. Loved Mayor’s speech. @kimzippel @DianeNTherrien pic.twitter上海龙凤419/fHdIBT4kJY
— Sue Paradisis (@sueparadisis) November 27, 2018
The incoming mayor was sworn in first, then followed by the 10 councillors.
Therrien then addressed the crowd and spoke of a new era emerging at city hall that will put transparency and civic engagement at the forefront.
Diane Therrien elected mayor of Peterborough in landslide victory
“During the last election there was a clear appetite for change and overwhelming desire to open the doors of city hall to the contributions and insights of citizens across the city,” said Therrien. “And today that process begins.”
Therrien’s victory over incumbent Daryl Bennett was a landslide, as she won by more than 10,500 votes, a margin of defeat that hasn’t been seen in recent elections.
This just happened – it’s real now. Congratulations @kemi_akapo and @DianeNTherrien #ptbo pic.twitter上海龙凤419/BJaw0JyANW
— Mauricio Interiano (@MauricioAI) November 27, 2018
The loss came as a shock to many in Bennett’s campaign but Therrien suggested it “signalled a desire for change” as for the last four years on council most of the contentious issues would routinely come down to a 6-5 vote.
Ashburnham ward Coun. Keith Riel was a vocal opponent and fell amongst the five voters who inevitably would come out in the losing end of council votes and he admits at times he felt shut out from the other six including Bennett.
Peterborough election results 2018
“Certainly with the 6-5 vote, for whatever reason, I felt there was never any dialogue and there was never any time to make an argument for what was in the best interest for Peterborough,” said Riel. “That’s not to say we didn’t do good things for Peterborough. I am just looking forward to having some good dialogue and good debate and moving the city forward.”
This council is more diverse than ever as the city elected its first two black councillors to city hall and doubled the number of women from two to four this term.
Congrats to Her Worship, Diane Therien, and councillors Stephen and Kemi, on their election to Peterborough city council #onpoli #historymade #blackexcellence pic.twitter上海龙凤419/QdxLUeZhvM
— Rocco Achampong (@Rocco4Toronto) November 27, 2018
Northcrest ward Coun. Stephen Wright was proud to be sworn in front of his extended family and friends.
“It’s actually a pretty good feeling to have friends and family be here to witness history made in Peterborough,” said Wright. “This city has not only elected a diverse council but they also elected a hard-working council and tomorrow morning we get to work but tonight we can celebrate.”
Council will officially take their new roles on Dec. 1 and serve a four-year term.
This first city council meeting takes place on Monday, Dec. 3 at city hall.