EMBRUN – At their regularly scheduled meeting on Mon., May 27, the Mayor’s chair, which had been vacant following the resignation of former Mayor Pierre Leroux on April 19, was finally filled with Councillor Mike Tarnowski completing the Mayor’s Declaration of Office and Oath of Allegiance.

“I Mike Tarnowski, having been appointed to the office of Mayor in the Township of Russell solemnly swear and declare that I’ll truly, faithfully and impartially exercise the

office to my best knowledge and ability.

I have not received and will not receive any payments, rewards or promise thereof for the exercise of this office in a biased, corrupt, or any other improper manner. I will disclose any pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, according to the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Charles III, and I make this solemn promise and declaration conscientiously believing to be true and knowing that it is of the same force and effect as if it was made under oath.”

After signing the document, the chain of office was placed on his shoulders by clerk Joanne Camiré Laflamme. He then assumed the mayor’s seat with Councillor Jamie Laurin, who had served as the acting Mayor, moving to what had previously been Tarnowski’s seat.

As his first action as Mayor, Tarnowski thanked his family for their support and addressed the Township.

“With profound honour and a deep sense of responsibility, I stand before you today as our newly appointed Mayor. I wanted to express my heartfelt gratitude to our outgoing Mayor Pierre Leroux for his invaluable years of dedicated service and to Councillor Laurin for stepping in and supporting the Township during this transition period. As I assume this role I am reminded of the trust and confidence you have placed in me. This trust is not taken lightly.

“I am committed to serving Russell Township with integrity, dedication and an unwavering commitment to our shared values. One of the core values that will guide my tenure as Mayor is the importance of widespread engagement. Our strength lies in our diversity and the act of participation of all our residents. I strongly encourage open dialogue, active involvement, and a shared responsibility, and sharing the future of our township.”

Mayor Tarnowski stressed the importance of following the strategic plan which council had developed following their election in 2023. The principles of leadership, innovation, sustainability, development, equity, and community health would guide their efforts, while fiscal responsibility would be the cornerstone of their administration.

“As we embark on this journey together, I am fill with optimism and a renewed sense of purpose. The challenges ahead are numerous, but so are the opportunities. With your support, engagement and shared vision, I’m confident we can make Russell Township an even better place to live, work, and play. Thank you for your trust, commitment and belief in our shared future. Let us build a community we can all be proud of.”

With that, it was time to get down to work.

One other related matter remained on the agenda, and that was how to fill the now vacant Councillor position. Council had the option of either selecting someone to fill the role for the remainder of the term or holding a by-election. Councillor Laurin asked that the decision be deferred to Council’s meeting on June 24, as he wished to consult with members of the community before committing to a decision on the matter. Council agreed and the matter will be brought forward at that date.