CORNWALL – This year’s SDG County Warden election did not come down to drawing names from a hat. At the October 18 council meeting, councillors elected Carma Williams (North Glengarry) as the next warden for SDG.
Williams, and Councillor Bryan McGillis (South Stormont) declared their intent to vie for the position at the September meeting. No additional candidates stepped forward.
With the exception of current warden Allan Armstrong (North Dundas) – who was installed as warden following the ineligibility of then-warden Frank Prevost to hold the position – all wardens this term of council have been from Glengarry County.
Williams said the county has over 150 years of a solid foundation to build on.
“[Council] said that we want to be a progressive regional government and to me that means looking to the future. To discover new and better ways of doing things, to be the new pioneers of municipal government,” she said. “We have the unique opportunity to embrace change and set the stage for our next council.”
During her nomination speech, Williams acknowledged one of the county’s strategic goals that no municipality is left behind.
“I’m sure that since amalgamation we’ve all felt left behind at some point in time. That’s why every member of council must have a voice, and a say, and we must work together to make sure no municipality is left behind” she said.
Williams also highlighted the upcoming education report and plan and said she looked forward to advocating for strong rural education in SDG.
Highlighting community partnerships, she said that great strides have been made by this council in to improve its shared-services relationship with the City of Cornwall, but more work needs to be done.
The breakdown of the vote was not released at the time of the election.
Williams is only the second female warden in the 171-year history of SDG County. Estella Rose from North Dundas was elected warden in 2008.
Prior to the vote, council adopted a non-binding resolution stating the preference for the sitting warden to not vote. This is a compromise from a previous meeting where changes to settling a tie vote for the 12-member council were proposed. That proposal, by Councillor Jamie MacDonald (North Glengarry) sought to strip the vote from the sitting warden. The procedure to settle tie votes was to draw names from a hat to choose the warden, a process that was called “Mickey Mouse.”
Armstrong declared before the election that as sitting warden he would not vote.
Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader