During its regular meeting November 1, Clarence-Rockland council officially swore in Kyle Cyr as the new councillor for Ward 2 of the City of Clarence-Rockland. The position has been vacant since September 8, following the appointment of Mario Zanth as mayor of Clarence-Rockland on August 30.
Cyr served five years as councillor of ward 5, but at the end of his second term, he decided to step back from politics and focus on his family. In an interview, he said he was going to present himself for consideration as councillor next year, but when this opportunity came up, he decided to put his name in and “see what happens”.
“I had my first meeting last week, and things have evolved and changed in a good way in the last 11 years,” he said. “I’m taking some time to get familiar with all the processes and changes that have came about in the municipality.”
Cyr says he will take some time to get familiar with how politics have changed since he’s been away and evaluate the damage that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused. He is focusing now on getting the municipality back on its feet, which includes everything from restoring public services like the YMCA to deciding whether municipal employees will be going back to the office or continuing to work remotely. He expects it will take a lot of work to evaluate each option and see how it will affect the municipality.
“I’d like to be able to define a new normal for the municipality,” he said. “And again, what does that look like? What does post-pandemic look like for municipalities?”
He cited mental health as a particular concern of his, as the pandemic has adversely affected many people in the municipality, but he also acknowledges that “mental health is out of our jurisdiction”. He’s looking at what he can do to help, including advocating for partnerships to provide greater mental health services and increase their reach.
Cyr was chosen for the position over five other candidates, but he doesn’t want this to discourage them from getting into politics.
“The decision to get into politics, even municipal, is not an easy one,” he said. “It requires a lot of time, and it’s difficult on oneself and on the family. I just hope these people who put their names down will next year seek election through the election process, because it’s difficult to get good people.”
Cyr will hold the position of councillor for the remainder of the term, which ends at the 2022 municipal election.