Not all council members were happy about their assigned portfolios Monday.
“I guess that’s the reward I get for bringing accountability and transparency to the table,” Coun. Sushil Thapar said in reference to losing his finance chair status.
Monday night’s inaugural council meeting saw the mayor handing each councillor their portfolios.
Thapar received: North Cariboo and Parks Commission, Family Day, Policy and Bylaw Review and Audit Committee.
“She took it away after all the work I have done,” Thapar said.
But Mayor Mary Sjostrom said most committee appointments “are changed with the new council; a new council, a new fresh start was a perfect time to change portfolio’s like finance and public safety.”
Sjostrom also pointed to the role of finance chair and its lack of authority.
“The finance chair is just that – he or she chairs the meetings of council as we move through the budget process,” she said.
“The budget belongs to the entire council who makes the decisions and sets direction for staff. The chair has no other authority.”
But for Thapar, being stripped of his former title speaks to his ten-month campaign on “accountability of council expenses.”
“I work for the taxpayers who elected me to do the job,” he said.
“Accountability, transparency and progress will be ongoing regardless of my title or not.”
The finance chair position was handed to Coun. Ed Coleman. Sjostrom pointed out Coleman had considerable experience with budgets in his day job.
“My goal is that future talks will centre around a fair, clear and successful financial planning and decision,” Coleman said.
The following is the complete list of council appointments.
Mayor Mary Sjostrom: First Nations, Executive Committee Chair, Economic Development, Sustainability Task Force, Transportation, Cariboo Regional District Board Representative.
Councillor John Brisco: Museum and Heritage Commission, Citizen of the Year, West Fraser Timber Park, Canada Day.
Councillor Mike Cave: Environmental Advisory Committee, Air Quality Roundtable,
West Quesnel Land Stability, First Nations, Affordable Housing, Audit Committee.
Councillor Ed Coleman: Finance/Audit, Sustainability Task Force Chair, Post Secondary Education, Executive Committee, Labour Relations, Audit Committee.
Councillor Scott Elliott: Civic Pride/Tourism, Neighbourhood Association/Business Improvement Areas/Chamber of Commerce liaison, Policy and Bylaw Review,
Labour Relations, Canada Day.
Councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg: Safety and Protection, North Cariboo Recreation and Parks Commission, Shiraoi Twinning Society, Policy and Bylaw Review, CRD Board Alternative Representative, Executive Committee, Labour Relations, Canada Day.