Orangeville’s new council promises a ‘new era of cooperation’ at Town Hall

December 6, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Baker

Approximately 150 local residents were on hand to welcome a “new era of cooperation and collaboration” to Orangeville on Monday evening as the town’s new council was officially inaugurated.

Mayor Sandy Brown, Deputy Mayor Andy Macintosh and Councillors Joe Andrews, Grant Peters, Lisa Post, Debbie Sherwood and Todd Taylor were front and centre at the Orangeville Opera House as they were sworn into office by Ontario Court Justice Richard Schwarzl. Kicking off proceedings, Justice Schwarzl, a long-time resident of Orangeville, shared a few words of wisdom with those in attendance, speaking of the importance of municipal governance.

“In our democracy, all levels of government are important, but it is municipal government that impacts us most directly and most immediately. It touches us where we work, where we live and where we play,” he said. “It’s at the local level of government that citizens have the most power and opportunity to influence the shape and the future of the community. In this sense then, municipal government is the most important one in our day-to-day lives.”

He reserved praise for the seven individuals trusted to lead Orangeville forward over the next four years.

“The men and women elected to this council have at least one thing in common – they each cared enough about their home town to do something for it. They are the new leaders of our community,” Justice Schwarzl said. “Yes, your new council is comprised entirely of rookies, which may put pressure on them, but across Orangeville there appears to be a sense of optimism in this council and I think that optimism is well placed.”

Following his words of introduction, and  the formal swearing-in proceeding, Mayor Brown took centre stage, reiterating many of the points he drove home throughout his election campaign, while also speaking of his excitement at having the opportunity to work with what he described as a “quality team of professional individuals” at the council level.

“We come before you with a clean slate. The divisiveness of the past is in the rear view mirror. I look forward to working with this team to make the right decisions for Orangeville,” Mr. Brown said. “I’ve lived in this community for 26 years. It’s a great place to raise a family, with enough amenities to satisfy most. But we have to manage expectations.”

Expanding on that point, Mr. Brown indicated there were some areas within Orangeville’s annual budget that would need to be trimmed if the town is to truly move forward over these next four years.

“A town of 35,000 people cannot afford many amenities that larger municipalities enjoy. We need to balance the needs of the community with very real budgetary challenges,” Mayor Brown added.

He went on to make special mention of Murray Young, a man he says introduced him to the world of community service some 25 years ago. Having met Mr. Young through the pair’s mutual involvement with the Orangeville Lions Club, Mayor Brown paid homage to the man he says helped put him where he is today. Mr. Young passed away in 2013 at the age of 89.

New Deputy Mayor Andy Macintosh hailed Monday as an incredibly important night for the future of the community.

“Tonight, we turn the page for the Town of Orangeville,” he said. “This town will be represented for the next four years by a council with not only fresh faces, but fresh ideas. You elected a council who will work with each other, not just for a better Orangeville, but for a better Dufferin County and this, my friends, will benefit all of us.”

Councillors Andrews, Peters, Post, Sherwood and Taylor each took turns thanking those who helped with their campaigns, while promising to work with integrity and vigour in tackling the various issues the community will face over the next four years. In closing, Mayor Brown made one final pledge.

“I’m honoured that you, the public, placed your trust in this council. Allow us to continue to grow a stronger, more vibrant community for future generations,” Mayor Brown said. “We will continue to grow a community we can all be proud of – that is my promise for the duration of this term.”

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