County Council Highlights Dec. 12 & 14, 2017

Marr is 2018 Elgin County Warden

Warden Marr 2018David Marr was acclaimed Warden of Elgin County at a session of Elgin County Council held on December 12, 2017.

Marr, the Mayor of Central Elgin, was unopposed in his bid for the one-year position. He had declared his intention to seek the office at the September 12, 2017 County Council meeting.

Marr has over 20 years of municipal council experience. He spent 6 years on Port Stanley Council and has subsequently served 14 years on Central Elgin Council. He first served on County Council from 1995-97 and was appointed again to serve during former Mayor Sylvia Hofhuis’s absence. He returned to Council in 2010 after being elected Deputy Mayor of Central Elgin and then again in 2014 when he was elected Mayor. He previously held the office of Elgin County Warden in 2014.

In 2017 Marr served on the Elgin St. Thomas Public Health Committee, The Greenlane Community Trust, and the Social/Entertainment Committee. Between 2010 and 2012 he was part of the committee to bring an Official Plan to Elgin County. Warden Marr has a background in farming and over 34 years’ experience in the tax business. He is a Port Stanley native and has been married to wife Sandy for 42 years.

Warden Marr praised outgoing Warden Grant Jones for “continuing the tradition of strong leadership,” and thanked him for his “hard work and devotion to the office.”

“Over the past term the team at Elgin has proven its ability to steer the County through challenging times with a steady hand,” said Marr. “As a result we are uniquely positioned to tackle upcoming challenges head on, to take advantage of future opportunities, and to show the world that we are Progressive by Nature.”

Marr identified the reconstruction of the new Terrace Lodge, the need for a new POA Court facility, and the development of a regional economic development strategy as priorities for 2018. He also noted that changes to the Ontario Municipal Act, Elections Act, the Employment Standards Act, and changes to Elgin St. Thomas Public Health will also be top of mind in the coming year.

2018 Committee Appointments

Elgin County Council approved committee appointments for 2018 as follows:

Dispute Resolution (3) – Wiehle, Jenkins, Ens
Elgin County Museum (1) – Martyn
Elgin St. Thomas Public Health (3) – Marr, Wiehle, Currie
Health Recruitment Partnership (1) – McWilliam
HR Committee (3) – Jones, Mennill, McWiliam
Joint Elgin/Central Elgin Accessibility Advisory Committee (1) – Martyn
POA Court Facility (4) – Marr, Jones, Mennill, Ens,
Rural Initiatives (3) – McWilliam, Ens, Jenkins
Social/Entertainment (2) – Jones, McWilliam
St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre (1) – Currie
Terrace Lodge Building Committee (4) – Marr, Mennill, Currie, Jenkins,
Waste Management/Liaison – Committee of the Whole
Water Advisory Committee (1) – Jenkins

County Appoints New Integrity Commissioner, Closed Meeting Investigator, Ombudsman

After a joint RFP process with Middlesex County, Elgin County Council has appointed Independent Resolutions Inc. as represented by Mark McDonald as Integrity Commissioner, Closed Meeting Investigator, and Ombudsman, effective January 1, 2018 until December 31, 2020.

In the event of a conflict, absence, or illness that prevents Independent Resolutions Inc. from fulfilling the role on a particular file, the firm of Aird Berlis, represented by John Mascarin, was identified and agreed to act as an alternate provider on an as needed basis.

A detailed report is included in the December 12 & 14, 2017 County Council Agenda Package.

Provincial Offences Act (POA) Facility

In September Council directed staff to proceed with architectural services to refine the POA facility needs (one court room and POA/legal offices) and prepare construction drawings and cost estimates for council’s consideration.

At the December 14, 2017 meeting, The Ventin Group Ltd. presented preliminary drawings and costing for this facility. Council passed a resolution to consider the Provincial Offences Act (POA) Facilities project for deliberation as part of the 2018 Capital Budget process and authorized staff to sign a contract with The Ventin Group Ltd. as the prime architect for project design, engineering, tendering and contract administration services.

The full report can be found in the December 12 & 14, 2017 County Council Agenda Package.

Year End Reports

The year-end reports for several organizations, programs and departments were presented at the December 14, 2017 Council meeting:

The St. Thomas Elgin-General Hospital Foundation and Board of Governors presented their annual report to Council outlining fundraising goals, official opening dates for the Great Expansion, and statistics related to emergency room wait times and ICU visits.

The St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre summarized the organization’s 2017 exhibitions, educational programming, and community partnerships.

Elgin County Economic Development provided Council with an update on the Elgincentives Community Improvement Plan. The update included funding allocated during 2017 as well as examples of interesting projects completed in each of Elgin’s seven municipalities.

The Elgin County Museum presented a report outlining its activities in 2017. This included exhibitions, outreach, programs, additions to the permanent collection, social media presence and the opening of the new Elgin County Heritage Centre in 2018.

These reports in their entirety can be found in the December 12 & 14, 2017 County Council Agenda Package.