McKen­zie re-elected Perth County war­den

West Perth mayor re­turned to war­den’s seat for 2019

The Beacon Herald - - FRONT PAGE - GALEN SIM­MONS STAFF RE­PORTER gsim­[email protected]­media.com

Un­con­tested, West Perth Mayor Wal­ter McKen­zie was once again elected to serve as war­den at Perth County coun­cil’s in­au­gu­ral meet­ing Thurs­day morn­ing.

The vet­eran politi­cian, who also served as war­den in 1995, was of­fi­cially de­clared as the Perth County’s next war­den by Su­pe­rior Court Jus­tice Ian Leach dur­ing a cer­e­mony at the Perth County Court­house in Strat­ford.

“I’m very hon­oured and hum­bled to have this op­por­tu­nity in the up­com­ing year with the trust, faith, sup­port, and ded­i­ca­tion of the rest of county coun­cil,” McKen­zie said after be­ing pre­sented with the chain of of­fice and war­den’s gavel by Mert Sch­nei­der, who served as war­den in 2016 and 2017.

Speak­ing from his pre­pared re­marks, McKen­zie dis­cussed the year ahead and the pro­jects cur­rently un­der­way that will carry for­ward into 2019.

Along with a new county of­fi­cial plan, ac­ces­si­bil­ity and in­fra­struc­ture is­sues at the Perth County Court­house cam­pus, and the con­tin­ued re­cy­cling and repaving of county roads, McKen­zie spoke of the im­por­tance of forg­ing joint-ser­vice agree­ments and draft­ing a cor­po­rate strate­gic plan in col­lab­o­ra­tion with mem­ber mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

“(We’re try­ing) to see if there’s a more ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive way to pro­vide ser­vices to Perth County res­i­dents,” McKen­zie said. “... I think, if noth­ing else, it has pro­vided the op­por­tu­nity for all of the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in Perth County to col­lab­o­rate and work to­gether more than ever be­fore.

“This county co-op­er­a­tion can also be seen through its clerks, trea­sur­ers, op­er­a­tions man­agers, and CAOs meet­ing on a reg­u­lar ba­sis to dis­cuss com­mon is­sues along with their coun­ter­parts in Strat­ford and St. Marys.”

On hand to de­liver con­grat­u­la­tions were Greg Rosser on be­half of Perth-Welling­ton MP John Nater, Matthew Rae on be­half of Perth-Welling­ton MPP Randy Pet­ta­piece, St. Marys Mayor Al Strathdee, and Strat­ford Mayor Dan Mathieson.

“I know that the time you take on county coun­cil on top of your lower-tier du­ties takes up a lot of your time, but it wouldn’t be with­out your lead­er­ship that the county, the city, and the town con­tinue to pros­per and work to­gether,” Mathieson said.

Strathdee praised McKen­zie for be­ing “easy go­ing and easy to work with.”

As we move forth in un­cer­tain times in po­lit­i­cal na­ture, there’s a lot of things that we don’t know that’s com­ing, and I think now more than ever it’s im­por­tant that we work to­gether,” the St. Marys mayor said.

Prior to the war­den’s elec­tion, Perth County’s new slate of coun­cil­lors was sworn in by Leach. Serv­ing on Perth County coun­cil over the next four years are Robert Wil­helm and Jim Aitch­e­son rep­re­sent­ing Perth South, Todd Kasen­berg and Doug Kel­lum rep­re­sent­ing North Perth, Rhonda Eh­goetz, Hugh McDer­mid, and Daryl Her­lick rep­re­sent­ing Perth East, and McKen­zie and Doug Eidt rep­re­sent­ing West Perth.

“Perth county is a very ex­cep­tional place full of won­der­ful peo­ple. To quote Shake­speare, ‘The envy of less hap­pier lands,’” Leach said after the coun­cil­lors were sworn in. “Ob­vi­ously it hasn’t be­come that way and can’t con­tinue that way with­out peo­ple like you who are will­ing to step for­ward and ded­i­cate them­selves to the wel­fare of every­one who lives and works here.”

PHO­TOS BY GALEN SIM­MONS/THE BEA­CON HER­ALD

Mem­bers of the new Perth County coun­cil were sworn into of­fice by Su­pe­rior Court Jus­tice Ian Leach dur­ing a cer­e­mony at the Perth County Court­house Thurs­day morn­ing.

West Perth Mayor and cur­rent Perth County War­den Wal­ter McKen­zie was elected war­den for 2019 dur­ing county coun­cil's in­au­gu­ral meet­ing Thurs­day morn­ing.

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