MORRISBURG – South Dundas’ newest mayor says the municipality will be holding a visioning session within a few months but not before tackling a challenging budget.
“Members of council, today we begin our journey together,” Evonne Delegarde said in her inaugural address.
There were roughly 40 people at the South Dundas Municipal Center Tuesday night for the inauguration, including MP Guy Lauzon, North Dundas Mayor and Warden Eric Duncan, North Dundas Deputy Mayor Gerry Boyce and South Stormont Mayor-elect Jim Bancroft.
“A visioning session for council and staff will be held early in 2015 to identify key issues and priorities which will assist us to work effectively toward clear goals and objectives for this term,” she said.
Delegarde said she has learned to appreciate the importance of customer service and open and honest communication through her experience as a business owner and in her current work as well as volunteering with the public.
The mayor said the new council – made up of Deputy Mayor Jim Locke and councillors Archie Mellan, Bill Ewing and Marc St. Pierre – will also face financial challenges.
“Payments for the municipal center begin this year as well as the Campbell Street industrial road extension which, to date, is not financed. Through hard work and sensible and informed decisions we’ll strive to be frugal and accountable with your tax dollars,” Delegarde said.
Deputy Mayor Locke echoed those feelings.
“One of the first challenges is to approve a budget, hopefully that will maintain the services and maintain our infrastructure and stay within the area of the cost of living or near,” he said.
Mayor Delegarde says council and staff will be reviewing whether to build new facilities in South Dundas as well as the future of municipally-owned land, noting that different types of housing are badly needed in the region.
“The business and tourism sectors play an important part in our economic development and we must put South Dundas, the Upper Canada region and SD&G on the map,” she stated.
The mayor says landfills are nearing capacity and need to be dealt with.
Also focusing on being accountable to the public, Delegarde said council will consider having a public Q&A session during council meetings.
“I’m filled with optimism and excitement and pleased to be working with my fellow members as we begin this term to make our community everything I know it can be.”
In closing her address, Delegarde also acknowledged the municipality staff, saying “we will all make a great team.”
Click on the one of the images below to open a gallery of the council and each member taking the oaths of office.