Melancthon Mayor Darren White returns as County warden

December 20, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By James Matthews

It takes more than one year to achieve success as head of a county council, says Dufferin Warden Darren White.

And that’s fitting as the Melancthon mayor was returned by acclamation last Thursday, Dec. 12 to the position for 2020.

Warden White will be the 143rd Dufferin County Warden. It’s his third term at the helm of the county government. Outside of this year, Warden White previously served in the role in 2017.

He said serious consideration should be given to giving the representative in the warden position a multi-year term.

“We are here to speak for the people,” he said. “We carry with us their needs and wants, and we should strive to make solid responsible decisions. We’re here to bring forth ideas for the greater good.”

Council also acclaimed those who lead standing committees.

Mono Mayor Laura Ryan will continue to oversee the Community Services/Dufferin Oaks/Museum Committee. 

The General Government Services Committee will be led by Mono Deputy Mayor John Creelman. 

Amaranth Mayor Bob Currie will continue as chairperson of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee.

The remaining members of Dufferin County Council for 2018-2022 are Coun. Steve Anderson, deputy mayor of Shelburne; Coun. Sandy Brown, mayor of Orangeville; Coun. Guy Gardhouse, mayor of East Garafraxa; Coun. Chris Gerrits, Amaranth’s deputy mayor; Coun. Earl Hawkins, deputy mayor of Mulmur; Coun. Janet Horner, mayor of Mulmur; Coun. Andy Macintosh, Orangeville’s deputy mayor; Coun. Wade Mills, mayor of Shelburne; Coun. Philip Rentsch, deputy mayor of Grand Valley; and Coun. Steve Soloman, mayor of Grand Valley.

Warden White said he’s honoured to have been head of council over the past year.

“Last year I asked for your support, and you gave it unreservedly,” said Warden White. “I hope you can reflect on this last year and feel your trust was well-placed and my efforts were not only positive, but fruitful.”

Warden White re-read all council and committee agendas from the past year as a means to tally the county government’s accomplishments in its first year of the current term.

“Yes, I actually, did,” he quipped.

And “the list is exhaustive,” he said.

The year began with the launch of the Join in Dufferin community engagement website. It included an amendment to the county’s official plan that ensures source water protection in Melancthon. And the contract for 911 emergency dispatch services throughout Dufferin County was renewed.

“That seems like quite a bit, but that was only the first couple weeks,” he said.

Warden White continued describing the litany of initiatives from developments in health care service delivery, forest management, youth engagement, and other accomplishments.

“And it should be noted here that Andy Macintosh is now a local hero for getting (traffic) light synchronization on Broadway that has actually increased traffic flow,” Warden White said.

The county’s strategic priorities to 2022 will be a focus on economic vitality, good governance, sustainable environment and infrastructure, service efficiency and value, and inclusive supportive communities.

“And I’m here to tell you we have taken positive steps on all those commitments,” he said.

The county has also undertaken a service delivery review process that will streamline programming and improve distribution of resources.

“This project promises to bring forth recommendations to substantially change the way the County of Dufferin operates so that we may provide more efficient, more sustainable, more resilient programs for the residents we represent,” Warden White said.

“This seems like a ton of work, and it is. But it is only a small portion of the body of work this council and the staff of this county have accomplished over the past 12 months.”

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