Michelle Harris doesn’t intend to make any promises, but what she does intend to do is continue the efforts that have already been made to upgrade infrastructure in Trout River.
Things like the town’s water and sewer system and roads are all important to Trout River’s new mayor.
Harris, 40, possibly the town’s youngest mayor, was elected during a council meeting last Wednesday.
She’s replacing Paul Matthews, who tendered his resignation at the meeting. Matthews stepped down due to work commitments.
Harris said Matthews’ resignation left the council with two options. Because the town elected its mayor within council, under the Municipalities Act either the deputy mayor could step up or another member of council could step in.
Harris was nominated and subsequently elected.
Despite not having a lot of time to think about it, Harris said, “Yes, it was a willing nomination.”
She’s served for about three years and has become very active within the council and also serves on a lot of committees in the town.
Like many small communities, Trout River has an aging population and many of its younger people have moved on.
But Harris chose to say.
“It’s just a love for my community,” she said.
That love of community is something her husband shares. Both have family in the town and both have been able to find work there.
While some may be reluctant to get involved as leaders within the community, Harris believes it is important to the town’s future.
“I think if we want to be a sustainable little community we have to be involved.”
Harris was sworn in as mayor on Friday.
She said it was a day of mixed emotions.
“It was very sad to know that Paul was leaving us,” she said. “He’s been a great asset to our community. He’ll be greatly missed.
“But I’m also truly honoured to be given such an opportunity in my community.”