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County council creates a new economic development committee

by David Meyer

GUELPH - County councillors are hoping the creation of a new committee will enable them to solve a couple of problems and help bring prosperity to Wellington.

Council held its annual year end meeting on Dec. 9 to consider various committee issues, and the possibility of creating an economic development committee was the first one on the agenda.

The previous month council agreed the committees would now operate on a two-year basis, but they also agreed there would be changes if desired. So the committee chairmen remain the same for the coming year.

Warden Chris White said creating an economic development committee would “solve a couple of issues,” and added there has been “strong recognition we need to have one.”

Nobody disagreed, and the vote to create that committee was unanimous, with no debate.

There have been some complaints about the county committee structures, particularly since a number of committee chairmen have been sitting on two county committees, and some newcomers in particular have been limited to seats on just one.

The new committee allows a more equal distribution of committee seats.

White also noted that there had been a couple of requests by councillors to shift from one committee to another, and he said the council would try to accommodate those requests. He said the new committee would have a chairman and four members, with the warden automatically sitting on all committees.

When elections for the chairman of the committee was held, councillor George Bridge was the unanimous choice, with no one standing against him.

That committee will meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 1pm.

Council then recessed to hold a striking committee meeting. When it returned it announced the members of the committee at Bridge, the warden, and councillors Don McKay, Ken Chapman, and Ray Tout.

There were also a number of changes with the creation of the new committee as some councillors shifted duties:

- Bridge left the roads committee for economic development;

- councillor Gary Williamson, who held only one committee seat, added the roads committee to his workload;

- councillor Ray Tout is now at solid waste services as well as economic development;

- councillor Dennis Lever added solid waste services to his workload; and

- councillors Ken Chapman and Don McKay

The council also set its other committees. White is a member ex officio of all of them. They are:

- administration, finance and personnel: councillors John Green, Joanne Ross-Zuj, Bridge and Tout;

- roads: councillors Ross-Zuj, Lynda White, Gord Tosh and Gary Williamson;

- solid waste services: McKay, Williamson, Chapman, and Dennis Lever;

- planning and land division:  councillors Sean Watters, Jean Innes, John Green and Bruce Whale; 

- social services: councillors Tosh, Lou Maieron, Innes and Whale;

- information, heritage and seniors: councillors Lever, Maieron, Watters and Mark MacKenzie; and citizen appointees Jennifer Dixon, Sheila Gamble, Walter Trachsel and Brad Whitcombe;

- Police Services Board: councillor Lynda White and county citizen appointee Jeremy Vink and provincial appointees: Linda Austin and Russ Spicer;

The county councillors and citizens also sit on a number of agencies, boards, and commissions, with the Warden again an automatic member of all of them. Those appointments are:

- accessibility advisory committee: councillors Green and MacKenzie;        

- St. Joseph’s Hospital and Home, McKay;                              

- Groves Memorial Community Hospital: councillor Lynda White;              

- Family and Children’s Services, councillor McKay;                          

- Board of Health: councillors Green and Ross-Zuj;

- Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, councillor Innes;                       

- Wellington County Plowmen’s Association: councillor Williamson;   

- Wellington Federation of Agriculture, councillor Whale;           

- doctor recruitment, councillor Tout;                           

- Centre 2000 management board: councillor Chapman ; and                       

- Guelph Business Enterprise Centre, councillor Lever.


December 16, 2011


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