Chief Whip of Drakenstein MunicipalityCllr. Christephine KearnsCouncillor Christephine Kearns is the new Chief Whip of Drakenstein Municipality. Although she says her appointment came as a huge surprise, councillor Kearns intends to make a lasting impact.She is the first female Chief Whip of Drakenstein Municipality and takes over from Alderman Anré Koegelenberg. Councillor Kearns previously served as Mayoral Committee responsible for Parks, Environment and Open Spaces.She sees her appointment as a major challenge given the big boots she has to fill, but she is determined to stamp her authority on the position. She believes it’s all about staying focused and prioritizing properly, as the job entails mostly administrative work. Chief Whip Kearns says she will miss her previous portfolio a lot, particularly the interaction with the community and municipal officials at events. She describes herself as a peoples’ person whose family is of crucial importance to her.CHIEF WHIPCllr. Christephine KearnsE-mail: Christephine.Kearns@drakenstein.gov.zaShe is married to William and they have five daughters. They reside in Wellington, where Chief Whip Kearns matriculated from Berg River Secondary School. Her sister-in-law convinced her to become a politician after she saw how councillor Kearns interacted with community members. In 2016 she had the opportunity to turn fulltime politician and grabbed it with both hands. It is William and her kids that carry her through the tough times, says the 50-year-old. She says her dad, Christiaan Abrahams, who was a legendary figure in rugby and entertainment circles in Wellington, had a major influence in building her character. Chief Whip Kearns credits Executive Mayor Conrad Poole as her major political mentor, but also lauds her Mother, family, her activists of Ward 10 and colleagues in the DA for her meteoric rise in politics after just 10 years in the game. Roles and ResponsibilitiesThe Chief Whip is elected by Council and is a full-time councillor. The function of the Chief Whip is legislated in section 41C of the Local Government Structures Act, 1998 and provides that the Whip of a municipal council:liaises with the different political parties to ensure representation in council and council committees;maintains sound relations between the various political parties;informs the whips of all parties on important matters on the council agenda;assists the speaker to count votes in the council meeting;facilitates the interaction between the executive and legislative oversight structures in the municipality; andresolves disputes between the speaker, mayor or executive mayor, or members of the mayoral committee.