"Ladies and gentlemen," she began, "Our path to success rests upon a clear understanding of what we want to accomplish and a clear plan to get us to that destination." She continued, "We either take the reigns to create our future or someone, or something, else will do it for us."
That includes plans for collaborating with academic institutes, businesses and service providers to initiate a workforce strategy, attracting skilled workers and families to the city, and working with the Airport Society.
Outgoing Mayor Bruce Lantz took the opportunity to say his thank-yous and goodbyes to the community. "Politics is a funny business," he remarked. "You're on call 24/7 and voters feel that you belong to them; I wouldn't have it any other way."
He also commented on his decision not to re-run, saying, "The fact is: politicians are only as good as their last decision, the last headline. Well my last decision to not run again was a good one," both for himself and his family, and jokingly as he added, the city. His speech was followed with a standing ovation from the crowd.
Don Irwin also made a brief farewell statement. After thanking his fellow councillors and city staff, and making himself available to council to serve on any committee or project, he offered a little advice: "Keep a balanced life, taking time for rest, reflection, recreation, physical activity and especially spiritual refreshment."
Current councillors also had the chance to say a few words, and most found themselves getting choked up about the experience. Notably, Councillor Bruce Christensen expressed his gratitude to be sitting next to newly-elected Councillor Byron Stewart, whose father Christensen replaced in a by-election after his death five years ago.
Mayor Ackerman wrapped up the misty-eyed evening by adding, "Please know that we do this because we feel strongly that we can have a better future for our community."
Below are photos from the event.