White Rock council is whole again.
Four-and-a-half months after Coun. Mary-Wade Anderson passed away, leaving an empty space on council, Bill Lawrence was sworn in as the final member of White Rock Monday.
Standing before a crowd of friends, family and colleagues, Lawrence was sworn in at White Rock City Hall by Judge Gary Cohen.
"It was really nice and I was very humbled by it all," said Lawrence the following day. "I was very proud of the fact that I was able to be a part of it and it worked out very well."
Lawrence, owner and operator of the Sandpiper Pub and liquor store, ran primarily on a campaign aimed at representing the area's small businesses and he intends to keep his campaign promises by taking those concerns into consideration before casting his votes as a member of council.
"(It's) one of my main focuses for sure because of the fact is that small businesses on council was being underrepresented," he said. "I felt I could provide businesses with a voice and I think of things on a daily basis and get a lot of feedback from a number of merchants on a number of issues that are very top of mind. If I can affect some level of change that can benefit them it would be perfect."
As for how he's fitting in as a member of council, having taken part in a closed council meeting immediately after his swearing in, Lawrence said he's ready to get some work done.
"There is definitely a learning curve that has to be taken into consideration, it's definitely a steep one but I am up to the challenge and so far the staff has been phenomenal as well as the other councillors," he said. "Mayor (Wayne) Baldwin has helped me out a lot to make sure that I have all of the information and resources that I need to be able to get fully involved with the process."
Baldwin himself said he was happy to have Lawrence on council and looked forward to working with him.
"We are pleased to welcome Coun. Lawrence to city council," said White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin in a statement. "He is a great addition to our strong council and will serve as an excellent representative for our local business community."
Lawrence will attend his first regular meeting as a councillor on Monday.
"The main focus is myself being involved with a really wonderful council and a mayor that is very, very supportive of what needs to be done in White Rock," he said. "The focus is getting involved with this group and getting down to work and making things happen."
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