Latour appointed acting mayor

Town council has appointed an acting mayor who will serve until the next election.

Ken Latour was recommended by his fellow councillors to take up the position at noon on March 2 during a special meeting of council.

The motion was made by Coun. Andrew Cassidy and was seconded by Coun. Kevin Wallington.

But before Latour could be appointed as acting mayor following former mayor Kelly Schofield’s sudden resignation on Feb. 27, council first moved to accept Schofield’s resignation, which was decided unanimously.

The City, Towns and Villages Act says that when both mayor and deputy mayor are unable to act, a councillor may be appointed acting mayor.

Latour, who previously served as acting mayor, saw his one-year term expire on Nov. 26, 2010. The term was never renewed by council.

“Despite what we thought for the past three or four days, we don’t have an official acting mayor,” said Latour.

Latour said he would gladly accept the position and noted that although Coun. Bernie Langille and Coun. Bernard Dueck were both absent from the meeting, they were prepared to call in to the meeting before administration began experiencing technical difficulties.

“From previous discussions I know that they both support the decision as well,” said Latour.

Before closing the meeting, Latour spoke to the allegations made in Schofield’s resignation letter and to what council has planned for the next eight months.

“I am not going to get involved in a public debate over the allegations,” said Latour.

He said the situation is now in the hands of the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA), noting the two department representatives sitting in the gallery.

“When the findings are reported back to this council and this mayor it will be made public,” he said. “I personally feel strongly that there is nothing to hide.”

Latour said council would continue to work harder than ever and will take the involvement of MACA as an experience to grow from.

“We can assure you that the administration of this community and government of this community is in strong, capable hands,” he said. “We are going to take something that’s started as a negative and turn it into a positive.”

Following the special meeting Latour said he was shocked by Schofield’s resignation.

“I’ve already talked about the fact it was a great surprise, but part of the reason it was a surprise was because of the way it was presented,” said Latour. “There was no heads up.”

He said his appointment as acting mayor was a shock, but something he is eager to do.

“I am excited about having the opportunity to provide some solid leadership,” he said. “There’s a lot of things that I want to see get going and I want to see get done.”

He said a full term as mayor is not in the cards.

“I’m not interested in a long-term career as a politician,” he said. “This is something I’m happy to do on a short-term basis. I do plan on running for council, though, and I look forward to serving my community for many years to
come.”