Elections unlikely at county as councillors name preferred jobs

It could be a non-election election on Dec. 4 when county council gathers to determine who is warden and who will head committees for 2010.

At the close of the council meeting on Monday, coun­cillors’ names were pulled from a hat and they were ask­ed to name the positions they want for the coming year.

Warden Joanne Ross-Zuj was last, and she was the only candidate for warden.

She joked she understands the need for a second term be­cause she is finally getting warden’s mail that is addressed to her, and she concluded, “One year is not enough.”

Ross-Zuj said, “It has been a privilege to be in this chair,” and she praised councillors and staff for their hard work over the past year. She said to Scott Wilson “It has been an honour working with you this year.”

Ross-Zuj said there were a number of projects that were started this year and she would like to see them completed.

She also noted that while there were new projects, the year was par­ticularly hectic because of all the infrastructure money that was made available by the federal and provincial govern­ments. She warned those cash taps will be shut off in the coming years, as she heard in Ottawa recently.

Ross-Zuj saluted county staff and councillors for bring­ing new ideas forward, such as the one by roads committee chairman Rod Finnie, who not­ed Grey County has started pav­­ing road shoulders for alternate transportation. He would like to see that happening in Wellington.

Ross-Zuj said with many ideas on the table “We have wonderful people to bring this together.”

She cited, too, economic de­velopment, and said there is a “golden opportunity to get all municipalities together.”

When it comes to commit­tees and their chairmen, only one councillor stepped down. John Green said he would not seek re-election to be chairman of the administration, finance and personnel committee.

Green’s announcement came immediately after coun­cillor Chris White announced he would be seeking the post.

While there are no candidates to date fighting for committee chairmanships, there is a possibility of nomi­nations from the floor on Dec. 4. That, however, is unlikely.

All the councillor praised Ross-Zuj for her work as warden. Chris White noted, “You’ve had a really full plate” in the top county political job this past year.

Councillor Gord Tosh asked to be returned as chairman of the social services committee.

Finnie wants to be the roads committee chairman again, and said that committee is “critical for me.”

Councillor Brad Whit­combe thanked Ross-Zuj “for your tolerance of me and my ideas. I’ve seen you handle a lot of challenges with grace an intelligence. You’ve really raised the bar [as warden].”

Whitcombe is seeking the chairmanship of the infor­ma­tion, heritage and seniors com­mittee.

Councillor Walter Trachsel said planning should have some consistency so he would like to stay on as chairman there.

Councillor Lynda White wants to remain the chairman of the Police Services Board. She said she wants to see through the anti-fortification bylaw and taxi bylaw, and the county is nearly ready for a pol­ice building at Wellington Place, in Aboyne.

Councillor Bob Wilson said he has handled the solid waste services file for so long he would like to continue with it.

He noted he was quoted at last month’s county council meeting as saying that people “don’t give a rat’s ass” about municipal politics. It is not the first time he has said that at a council meeting, and he claims he said it because it is true.

He added perhaps one reason why the voter turnout is so low in all elections is people are satisfied with the government they are receiving at all levels.

“Everything’s done for them,” he said.

There were two councillors who asked for a heavier work­load.

Councillor Lou Maieron had to leave early, but his mes­sage, read by Chief Admin­is­trative Officer Scott Wilson, stated that he has been on council nearly seven years, and he would like to sit on more than just one committee. For most of those seven years, he has sat on one, while others had two.

Councillor Jean Innes also said she feels “underworked” and would like extra committee work.