Former mayor George Butt Jr., has spent 26 years on council in Carbonear. With four of those being as mayor, he sat in the mayor’s chair one last time on Monday afternoon as he and council finished up any remaining business, and attended the swearing in ceremony for the newly elected council.
“That’s six and a half terms for me on council, now,” said Butt. “These past four years were, if not the best, were one of the best this town has ever had.
"I’d like to thank everyone for that. I’d like to thank the residents of Carbonear, and everyone who’s helped move the town forward. Most importantly, I’d like to congratulate incoming mayor Frank, and all the new council.”
Before calling for adjournment, Butt gave council the chance to speak, one by one, before getting up from their seat at the table.
Bill Bowman, who was not reelected for council this term, took the opportunity to thank fellow council members, but to also identify some of the major changes he’s seen in Carbonear during the past term.
“I’ve also acted as liaison for the theatre board here in town, and we’ve seen a lot of good things come from there,” said Bowman. “In 2016, I was happy to report that we saw some 27,000 patrons go in and out the Sheila NaGeira Theatre. That makes our theatre, arguably, the busiest theatre in the province, outside the city of St. John’s.”
Bowman also noted the success of businesses along Water Street, such as the Rorke Store Museum, which has garnered significant attention in recent years. He added that although Water Street is still not as busy as it was years ago, he is happy to see it slowly getting better with each year thanks to businesses such at The Stone Jug, Hotline Café, DozenOdd, and The Painted Mango.
Following the goodbyes and congratulations, Butt stepped from his seat on the mayor’s chair, allowing the swearing in ceremony to begin for the newly elected members of council.
The first of seven was mayor-elect Frank Butt, who served as deputy mayor for the past four years. Frank came out of the 2017 municipal elections with 982 votes, just above George’s 818.
“I’d like to thank George for the 26 years of service he gave the town, and to the other councillors that are finishing up today, I’d also like to thank you, for the last four years of good times,” said Frank, before taking his seat in the mayor’s chair.
The ceremony swore in two returning councillors – Coun. David Kennedy and Coun. Ray Noel, alongside four brand new councillors – Coun. Danielle Doyle, Coun. Amanda Hulan, Coun. Vic Jenkins, and Deputy Mayor Chris O’Grady, whose nomination for the position came from Jenkins.
Councillors then received handbooks detailing the minutes from previous meetings, to give newly elected members the chance to catch up.
The next council meeting in Carbonear, featuring the newly elected council, is set for Monday, Oct. 16.
“I hope you enjoy this meeting,” said George to newly elected members of council. “Because this is going to be the shortest one you’ll ever attend.”