Tree Lighting Ceremony

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The reeve for the Municipality of Rhineland believes council will work enthusiastically in this new term.

"I sensed a fair bit of energy in the room," said Don Wiebe following council's inaugural meeting on Wednesday.

The October municipal election resulted in two new people joining council, they are Larry Fehr and June Letkeman. Letkeman also happens to be the first woman to ever hold a seat around the Municipality of Rhineland council table.

"That's a historic moment and we certainly are very proud to say that," noted Wiebe, who hopes this starts a new direction where municipal government, particularly in Rhineland, becomes more gender-balanced. "I think it's a very positive direction and we think June is well qualified - she has council experience, and we think that she'll make a great contribution in terms of having a perspective that embraces the entire community."

Meantime, Ward 1 Councillor Brad Braun and Ward 2 Councillor Archie Heinrichs have been appointed as deputy reeves.

The inaugural meeting also saw Council take a moment to reflect on the feedback heard during the election campaign.

Some of the discussion entered on the municipality's new ward system where there are now three wards with two representatives in each. The two towns within the municipality, Plum Coulee and Gretna, each have an LUD committee as well that reports back to council.

Wiebe feels this revised map well-positions council to represent the communities within the Municipality of Rhineland, as well as the rural areas.

And while council felt it did a good job in communicating this change, Wiebe noted some ratepayers didn't know about the new wards or were confused by them, and said council has some work ahead in helping people to understand.

Wiebe said ratepayers have also indicated that improved cell and Internet service remain a priority, as well as economic development, water supply, and drought proofing planning, and the spike in farmland assessment.

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