Vernon News

New Vernon mayor and council sworn into office

New Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund visits with community members after being sworn in.

VERNON - Vernon’s new council members officially took their seats for the next four years Monday evening.

Mayor Akbal Mund, incumbents Bob Spiers, Juliette Cunningham, Catherine Lord, and Brian Quiring, along with new councillors Scott Anderson and Dalvir Nahal were sworn into office by Justice Mayland McKimm to a packed room at City Hall.

“Collectively, the seven of us are now responsible for everybody who lives in this community. Not just this community, but our neighbours as well,” Mund said.

Mund took time in his opening address to recognize outgoing mayor Rob Sawatzky, as well as former councillor Mary Jo O’Keefe, who made a run for mayor, and the late councillor Patrick Nicol.

Mund said council appointments will be finalized next week, but he already knows he’ll be serving on all major boards.

“I’m stepping right in, it’s very important,” he said. “I’ll try to do as much as I can.”

Council’s first big job will be reviewing the 2015 budget package. Mund, a former Wendy’s franchise owner, has never served in political office but says he’s getting a handle on things and will be ready to chair his first meeting next week.

“I always say, don't make a decision just for the fact of making a decision. Look at the facts, collect all the facts, and then make a decision on what's best,” he said.

He’s still getting used to the idea of being mayor, but staff at City Hall are helping him out with that.

“The protocol is when you’re in the city building that you are referred to as Mayor Mund. I went, you’ve got to be kidding me,” he said with a laugh. “My first name will now never be used in City Hall.”

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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