The Town of Erin’s newly elected council took the reigns on Dec. 2 at its inaugural meeting here, welcoming four fresh faces, including first-time mayor Allan Alls.
New councillors Jeff Duncan (who served on Erin council from 2000 to 2006), Matt Sammut and Rob Smith will join returning member John Brennan in the council chambers for the next four years – and all of them say they are optimistic and eager to get started.
After being sworn in, Alls was presented with the town’s first chain of office, which contains 11 conjoined shamrocks representing the 11 township concessions, along with township, village and county crests. Alls was also presented with a referee’s whistle by former NHL referee Bruce Hood.
Incoming speeches were kept brief, with expressions of gratitude to the people of Erin and hopes for a positive term going forward.
Duncan said his background and values revolve around the idea of doing a job well and saving money at the same time. He says he hopes to carry this sentiment with him through council’s future challenges.
“Today is a big transition day; we’ve gone from having things we tried to do on an individual basis, to becoming a team council here,” he said.
“I hope we can work in the way of cooperation, decency [and] decorum and it’s something we will strive for.”
Matt Sammut expressed his excitement about turning over a new leaf in Erin.
“I’m very passionate about our town. I truly believe we’re at a stage where we need a shift,” he said. “We have some fabulous assets in our community and it’s utilizing those assets effectively to make sure our residents are winners.”
Sammut also emphasized success does not come from work done in the council chamber alone.
“It’s going to require a community that’s committed; it’s going to require vision and passion coming from everybody,” he said. “If we can all do it together, this community is going to be as wonderful as it should be.”
Smith kept his address brief, thanking his family and township residents for their support.
“I’d like to thank the people of Erin for their support and voting me in and I look forward to working with my fellow councillors and our mayor. I think we’re going to have a really good four years,” he said.
Brennan said he was happy to see the chamber so full and he hoped the community would continue to venture out for regular meetings.
“Every day this group is going to be working hard on your behalf, so please come out and see us once in a while,” Brennan said. “You probably don’t realize how gratifying it is to sit up here and see people out there … the next four years are going to be challenging.
“They will require the best we can offer as a team and [that] will be enhanced by your participation.”
Alls concluded the meeting by thanking residents for taking a chance on “the rookie.”
“This is a wonderful community. I echo what my council has said. We’re going to need a lot of help, a lot of advice and a lot of support and most of all a lot of patience going forward.”
Four township staff members were recognized at the meeting for longtime service with the town.
Louise Warn was acknowledged for 15 years of service, Gail Broadfield for 10 years, Dave Knight for 15 years and Jackie Delta for 25 years.