Plau­dits for out­go­ing mem­bers

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL News Staff

South Glen­garry coun­cil’s three out­go­ing mem­bers were lauded dur­ing the fi­nal reg­u­lar meet­ing of the cur­rent coun­cil on Novem­ber 19.

Mayor Ian McLeod, who did not seek re-elec­tion in Oc­to­ber fol­low­ing 21 years of mu­nic­i­pal ser­vice, be­gan the tribute by doff­ing his cap to Coun­cil­lor Bill McKen­zie, who was first elected in 2006.

Re-elected twice, Mr. McKen­zie served as a coun­cil­lor and deputy-mayor over the en­su­ing dozen years. How­ever, he also rep­re­sented the mu­nic­i­pal­ity on a long list of com­mit­tees, in­clud­ing the Raisin Re­gion Con­ser­va­tion Au­thor­ity and the St. Lawrence River Re­me­dial Ac­tion Plan, and the mu­nic­i­pal Plan­ning Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee and Com­mit­tee of Ad­just­ment.

Mayor McLeod pointed out that Coun. McKen­zie played a key role in the re­vamp­ing of the town­ship’s fire depart­ment, as well.

“I think that Chief (Dave) Robert­son would agree that Bill was part of the orig­i­nal think tank that kind of re-shaped, re-struc­tured our whole fire ser­vice,” said Mayor McLeod. “Back in the day, we had five fire halls/sta­tions. Every­body was in­de­pen­dent of one an­other, and as an early ar­chi­tect (on the re­struc­tur­ing), Bill brought the frame­work to get us where we are to­day.”

Mr. McLeod also re­minded his col­leagues that Mr. McKen­zie kept a close eye on the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s purse strings.

“Bill con­sis­tently chal­lenged mu­nic­i­pal staff in ways to find and de­liver bet­ter mu­nic­i­pal ser­vices and in a more cost-ef­fec­tive man­ner,” ex­plained the mayor. “He chas­tised our trea­surer at times, and com­pli­mented him at other times,” he said.

The mayor then pre­sented Mr. McKen­zie with a watch.

Mr. McLeod sub­se­quently turned his at­ten­tion to Coun­cil­lor Trevor Bougie, who was first elected eight years ago, at the age of 25. “I re­mem­ber quite dis­tinctly in 2010 when two young guys came to my house one night and they were say­ing, ‘We’re just here to find out what coun­cil’s all about. We’re think­ing about run­ning (in the elec­tion),’” re­called the mayor.

“I said, ‘Well, who’s run­ning?’ One was the cam­paign man­ager, and the other was Trevor, run­ning for coun­cil. He ran a very suc­cess­ful cam­paign and has served the town­ship very hon­ourably ever since.”

Mr. Bougie served on the Her­itage Ad­vi­sory, Plan­ning Ad­vi­sory and Ice Al­lo­ca­tion com­mit­tees, as well as the Glen­garry Archives Com­mit­tee, among oth­ers.

Mr. McLeod noted that Coun. Bougie, a teacher with the Catholic District School Board of Eastern On­tario, was also “a strong sup­porter of youth en­gage­ment, re­cre­ation and re­spon­si­ble plan­ning.”

Mr. Bougie – like Mayor McLeod, an avid Mon­treal Cana­di­ens fan – re­ceived a large, au­to­graphed and framed photo of Habs goal­tender Carey Price as a “thank you” gift. He was also given a small plaque.

Deputy-Mayor Frank Prevost, who’ll as­sume the mayor’s seat at the first De­cem­ber coun­cil meet­ing, rec­og­nized his pre­de­ces­sor’s con­tri­bu­tions to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“Mr. Mayor, I have had the plea­sure and hon­our of serv­ing with you for 16 years,” said Mr. Prevost.

“Your ex­pe­ri­ence, ded­i­ca­tion, and knowl­edge will surely be missed around both (town­ship and Coun­ties) coun­cil ta­bles. I can hon­estly say that I have very big shoes to fill.”

He then handed the mayor a large, framed black and white print of Wayne Gret­zky and Guy Lafleur, taken dur­ing the 1981 Canada Cup tour­na­ment.

“It’s a pic­ture of the ‘Great One’ and the one who as­pired to be the ‘Great One,’” Mayor McLeod said with a chuckle, us­ing Gret­zky’s nick­name to re­fer to the long-time Cana­di­ens’ su­per­star, and leav­ing lit­tle mys­tery as to his hockey al­le­giance.

The im­age was also ac­com­pa­nied by a plaque.

The out­go­ing mayor praised his coun­cil col­leagues, past and present for their com­rade­ship and com­pe­tence.

He also ex­pressed grat­i­tude to the em­ploy­ees with whom he’d worked over the past two decades.

“Yes, we are here to make the poli­cies and pro­ce­dures, and to see that staff car­ries them out, but it takes ded­i­cated staff to make things work,” said Mayor McLeod.

“It’s been my great plea­sure over the last 21 years to serve with the Town­ship of South Glen­garry, and I would like to thank ev­ery­one for be­ing there and for help­ing out.”

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