Trish Hoskin will take up the gavel at the next Fort Macleod council meeting.
Council voted Monday to have Hoskin serve as deputy mayor at least until the organizational meeting in October, taking over many of the duties held by the mayor including chairing the meetings.
Council also voted to have Hoskin collect the $600 a month honorarium since she will take on many of the duties previously done by Mayor Rene Gendre.
At Monday’s meeting council also took away a cell phone provided to Gendre and paid for by the Town of Fort Macleod and gave it to Hoskin.
Council also appointed Hoskin and other councillors to committee and board positions previously held by Gendre.
The steps are the latest action by council since it sanctioned Gendre last month citing his refusal to co-operate with council and acting on his own initiative without council approval.
Council at its July 14 meeting had tabled a discussion on whether to appoint a deputy mayor or continue to rotate councillors through the position on a two-month basis.
At Monday’s meeting Coun. Michael Dyck, who was chairing the meeting, urged council to appoint a deputy mayor on a more permanent basis.
“It provides a little more stability to the community itself,” Dyck said.
Dyck recommended that Hoskin take on the role of deputy mayor.
Hoskin said she was willing to take on the extra duties and agreed with Dyck that Fort Macleod needs stability right now in the leadership role.
Hoskin also said town staff will benefit from dealing with one deputy mayor for an extended period rather than having someone new in the role every two months.
Coun. Mike Collar was opposed to the idea at the July 14 meeting but said Monday he agreed with Hoskin’s position.
The motion to appoint Hoskin deputy mayor passed unanimously.
Gendre argued against council taking away the cell phone, pointing out that was how contacts he made as mayor knew to reach him.
Dyck argued in favour of taking the phone away.
“I don’t feel the public should have to pay for your phone,” Dyck said, noting councillors use their personal phones for council business.
That motion passed 6-1.
Gendre criticized council for sidelining him.
“What council has done is throwing Fort Macled back five years.”
Dyck countered that he has received positive comments from people inside and out of Fort Macleod.