There was some good-natured jabbing and joking along with heartfelt, emotional farewells as the outgoing Ponoka town council concluded their last meeting together on Oct. 12.
During their council reports, most of the councillors took the opportunity to express their gratitude to each other, along with retiring mayor Rick Bonnett and Chief Administrative Officer Sandra Lund.
“I’d like to say thank you,” said Lund.
“There has been a lot of positive progress … a lot to be proud of.”
Coun. Teri Underhill expressed her gratitude to her fellow councillors as well as Mayor Bonnett.
“Mayor Bonnett has been dedicated to this community and has always supported us,” she said.
“I’d like to say the same thing as Teri but without crying,” said Coun. Ted Dillon.
“I hope your name is there on the Senate list when the election is done,” said Coun. Sandra Lyon.
Prediger says it had been a privilege to watch a lot of things happen over her eight years on council and to spend time with each one of the other council members.
“I know I’m going to be sitting in Mayor Bonnett’s chair in less than a week … It’s a big chair — he’s got big shoes to fill,” said Ferguson.
Bonnett says that as the outgoing mayor, he hopes the new council takes a good look at the budget.
On a more personal note, he said, “You guys have been amazing. We did a lot of amazing things in 11 years. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Bonnett recalled some of the more controversial stances he took in the past, such as trying to pressure the government to “capitulate” on school board taxes.
“To the citizens of Ponoka, thank you for enduring my abrasiveness at times,” he said.
“I hope you guys don’t lose that fever for pushing things forward,” he said to council.
‘The community is well worth the effort.”
Bonnett concluded by saying that whether all the councillors returned or only a few, that he knew the council would be in good hands with Ferguson.
“This has been a good ride but it’s time to move on to bigger and better things.”
The new council will have their first organizational meeting on Oct. 26. The incumbent councillors Prediger, Lyon, Underhill, Clayton Nelson and Dillon will be joined by newly elected Coun. Cal David.