Melancthon mayor elected as 147th Warden of Dufferin County

December 21, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Dufferin County Council will be guided by knowing hands for the upcoming year with former Warden Darren White elected to lead council for 2024. 

White was elected to the position, which he will hold for the 2024 term, during a County Council meeting last Thursday (Dec. 15). He is taking over the role from Shelburne Mayor Wade Mills, who chose to step back from the role after holding the position for the last two years. 

Prior to the election for the 2024 Warden, Mills provided a reflection on his time as Warden of Dufferin County. 

“I’ve tried to approach this role over the past two years form a place of humility, not to impose my own personal agenda, but rather to help steer the ship, to build consensus where possible and to help move our collectively conceived visions forward,” said Mills. “I view these roles that we hold very much as a team effort and I think that our community is best served when we’re able to work productively together.” 

Coun. Janet Horner, the Mayor of Mulmur, and White were both nominated for the position as the head of county council, with White officially being elected following a 10-5 vote. 

The Warden is the head of Dufferin County Council and acts as the chief executive officer (CEO) for the County, leading council meetings, and providing representation at functions. 

Concluding his election as the 147th Warden of Dufferin County, White was handed the floor to read the oath of office. 

“It’s certainly an honour to be nominated to fill this very important role,” said White. 

Speaking with the Free Press, White said one of the biggest areas of focus for the council will be addressing the demands of inflation. 

“We have to find new innovative ways to deal with this. We can’t sit back and wait for other people to help us because clearly, they’re not coming. So, we have to do it ourselves. We have to look at best practices of other municipalities and other areas to find ways to fix things for everybody, so we can really be an equitable and just society.” 

The 2024 term will count as the fifth time White has served as Warden of Dufferin County. He was first elected to the position in 2017 and went on to serve as Warden from 2019 to 2021. Following the 2021 term, White chose not to seek re-election. 

“We’re going to be facing some pretty critical challenges over the next 12 months, and Darren certainly has experience in the role and a proven track record. I don’t think there’s anybody that would question his ability to fulfill this role and to do it well, so I felt very comfortable with somebody of his level of experience and capabilities to lead us forward over the next 12 months,” said Mills, who nominated White for the position. 

During the meeting, four chairs were selected to lead the standing committees of County Council. 

Orangeville Deputy Mayor Todd Taylor was selected as chair on the Infrastructure and Environmental Services Committee, Mono Mayor John Creelman will again lead the General Government Services Committee, Orangeville Mayor Lisa Post will oversee the Health and Human Services Committee, and Mulmur Mayor Janet Horner will continue as chair of the Community Development and Tourism Committee. 

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