John Smythe Hall was elected Councillor of the municipality of Rivière Saint-Pierre at the first public Council meeting on February 8, 1875, held at the Pavilion. A week later, on February 15, 1875, a Mayor was chosen among the Councillors, as was standard practice at the time. And that was how John Smythe Hall was proclaimed Mayor of the new municipality—a position he held until 1882.
It was his son, John S. Hall, who took the minutes of this historical meeting. Under Mayor Hall, the municipality changed its name to Verdun. John Smythe Hall established policies to regulate a number of matters.
On April 13, 1875, the sale of alcoholic beverages was prohibited, subject to a fine of $50 or a maximum three-month prison term. Moreover, companies producing foul-smelling products or those settling on Verdun territory without having first obtained the municipality's permission were subject to fines and imprisonment.