The District of Kent council took a brief trip back in time before their regular meeting on Monday. Complete with period costumes, the mayor and council reenacted excerpts from the minutes from the district’s inaugural year, 1895.
The council displayed an old yet well-preserved archive – encased in glass – of the meeting minutes for the first 20 years of the district, written meticulously in cursive.
Mayor Sylvia Pranger said the first ever meeting of the council was held Jan. 28, 1895 in the school house to swear in A. St. George Hammersley as the first reeve, which is today known as the mayor, as well as the aldermen (or councillors).
Coun. Duane Post started the meeting with a tongue-in-cheek point of order that there were only two eligible voters– himself and Coun. Stan Watchorn.
“What? Who is eligible?” Pranger asked.
“Just the men,” Post replied.
“Well, it took ‘em 100 years to get it right, didn’t it?” Pranger said with a laugh.
The 1895 council approved the posting of a cautionary sign to Harrison Hot Springs Road, warning of dangerous conditions, if the repairs to the road were going to cost the district any more than a hefty $3.
“I think that’s completely unreasonable,” said Coun. Kerstin Schwichtenberg. “Some people must drive on this road, and they have children and their grandmother and how are they supposed to go? Carry them across?”
“We only have so much money,” Post pointed out. “Any more than $3, we can’t do it.”
The first council further approved a $49.05 contract for building a new road to Maria Slough be accepted.
“We have a few people that said they’d be filling in the pot holes that live along that road,” said Coun. Susan Spaeti by way of explaining a maintenance plan for the fresh road.
“Oh, that seems like a viable solution to me,” Pranger replied, to the amusement of the audience.
Watchorn asked for a “friendly amendment” to round the contract down to an even $49, which the council approved.
“Mayor Pranger, can we have the minutes record that we saved the community five cents?” Watchorn asked.
“Okay, we’ll make sure the clerks list it,” Pranger replied.
This event was the first of a year-long celebration of the 125th anniversary milestone for the community.