The members of the new Inverness Municipal Council are (back, from the left): John Dowling, Warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie, John MacLennan, Jim Mustard, and Deputy Warden Alfred Poirier. In front is Laurie Cranton. For more on the new council, see the November 16 edition of The Reporter.

PORT HOOD: The swearing-in of Inverness council last Monday concluded with the third Strait area woman elected to lead a local municipal unit.

“There’s a new female mayor in Antigonish, and that’s also true in Port Hawkesbury. Now, the warden of Inverness County is also female,” said Betty Ann MacQuarrie, the newly-minted leader of the Municipality of Inverness.

“It’s nice to see that happening in every area,” MacQuarrie said.

MacQuarrie put her name forward to become the new warden at the Monday meeting. Long-time councillor Jim Mustard did the same. That vote resulted in a 3-3 tie.

In the event of a tie, stated CAO Joe O’Connor, the decision would be made by drawing the name of one of the two candidates at random. MacQuarrie’s name was pulled from an envelope, and Mustard offered her congratulations.

“It could have gone either way, but my name was picked from the draw,” the new warden noted.

MacQuarrie and Mustard took the oath of office at the swearing in ceremony, as well as Alfred Poirier. The councillor ran unopposed for the deputy warden position, and he was acclaimed. Also sworn in were John MacLennan, District 4; John Dowling, District 6; and Laurie Cranton, District 2.

“My first impressions are that we have a good six unit council,” MacQuarrie said. “That’s not to say the ones no longer on it weren’t fantastic, but the electorate have spoken. We have three new members and three veterans. It’s very well balanced that way.”

Also speaking at the meeting was Inverness returning officer Dernie Gillis, who oversaw a recount earlier in the day relating the District 6. Incumbent Dwayne MacDonald lost to Dowling by 39 votes on election night but the recount confirmed Dowling as the winner.

For more on the first meeting of the new council, see the November 16 edition of The Reporter.