McKenzie re-elected Perth County warden
West Perth mayor returned to warden’s seat for 2019
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.”
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.