Dufferin County mourns the loss of former warden, Melancthon Mayor Bill Hill

April 8, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Dufferin County is mourning the loss of one of its former wardens and Melancthon Mayor, Bill Hill, after a brief battle with cancer.

Mr. Hill served on Shelburne, Melancthon and Dufferin County councils. Also sitting on the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB), he was first elected as a councillor in Shelburne back in 1983. After six years, he moved to Melancthon, where he was elected as a councillor in 1998. He served as the township’s deputy mayor in 2008 prior to being elected mayor in 2010. He then served as Dufferin County’s warden in 2014 before retiring from politics.

“He was always fair,” said Melancthon Mayor Darren White, who served as a councillor and deputy mayor during Mr. Hill’s time. “He had a wealth of knowledge.”

Mayor White spoke of his predecessor as one who respected everyone’s beliefs. “He didn’t necessarily agree with everybody, but he certainly respected your belief, and he tried to understand where you were coming from before he made a decision. He was willing to listen, he’d get the information from all the sides, and make a decision based on that.”

The mayor added that he probably wouldn’t have been as successful in municipal politics without “learning from Bill.”

Mr. Hill faced several challenges during his time in Melancthon, particularly stopping the mega-quarry, and as the county’s warden, dealing with the Green Energy Act and the county’s first official plan. He was also the driving force behind the development of the annual scholarship program that Dufferin County offers for students pursuing higher education and apprenticeships.

“We lost one of the most community-minded men that I have ever had the privilege to work with,” said current Warden Paul Mills. “As a colleague and a true friend, Bill Hill will be truly missed by all of us”.

“Everybody looked to him for leadership and they certainly got it,” said Mayor White. “I think you’d find a hard time finding anybody in local political circles that didn’t have a high level of respect for Bill and what he did.”

On Tuesday, flags at Dufferin County’s courthouse were flown at half-mast to honour the lasting contributions of Mr. Hill.

Celebrations of Mr. Hill’s life will be held at the Washago Community Centre on April 22nd and the Shelburne Legion on May 12th, both from 1:00 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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