It was the final city council session for Coun. Stewart McLean, and Ken Huttema this week, and they were recognized for solid leadership and kindness.
“Thank you for the work you have done in this community,” Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz, when offering tribute to outgoing Coun. McLean.
“Personally the thing that inspires me most about you is having a voice for those who are marginalized the way you do,” she said.
She appreciated the leadership he demonstrated with the establishment of the Chilliwack Connect event, and kind words offered to everyone.
“It was heartwarming to come to the event and watch you interacting with the people in need,” she said.
The mayor said she loved the fact he didn’t just serve passively, and thanked him for doing the “humble” work.
“You rolled up your sleeves,” she said noting his time with Chilliwack Hospice Society board and other contributions.
They both served two terms over the six years from 2008 until 2014. Huttema did not seek another term, while McLean did not earn enough votes in his re-election bid. He came in eighth of 17 candidates, with six elected.
Councillors were reminded of both of the councillors’ varied committee roles and chairmanships held, and fond memories shared.
Huttema was called “poignant, wise and insightful,” as someone who led without fanfare.
“I want to personally thank Councillor Huttema for the incredible work on Chilliwack’s downtown, on the rural issues committee and the agricultural advisory committee,” Gaetz said. “Having a farmer on council has been very beneficial and we have all been grateful for his knowledge of the industry.”
Coun. Stam remembered how challenging it was, only 37 days after Huttema was elected, that Chilliwack froze up solid before a rapid melt and heavy rainfall in 2008, causing much of Greendale to flood.
They’ll miss Huttema’s “calm reassurance” and quiet wisdom, and Stam thanked him for his generosity of time.
“You are gentle in your giant personality,” added the mayor, thanking him for leading with “graciousness and integrity.”