Lever addresses council in final meeting of term

ABERFOYLE – Looking back to the challenges faced in Puslinch over the past eight years, outgoing Mayor Dennis Lever said, “I think we did the right thing.”
Nov. 21 marked Lever’s final meeting after serving two terms as mayor of Puslinch Township.
Councillor John Sepulis said “one could not ask for a better mentor” than Lever.
Councillor Ken Roth said of Lever, “I’ve enjoyed working with you since 2010. I think you have done an awful lot moving this township forward in its relationships with other municipalities and other levels of government – you will be missed.”
To the mayor, councillor Matthew Bulmer stated, “One of the things you brought to this organization was the idea of goal setting. That is very valuable to me. If that tradition continues, we will be in good hands for a long time.”
Bulmer said Lever should be proud of the work done with TAPMO (Top Aggregate Producing Municipalities of Ontario).
Bulmer said it was back in the 1970s when Puslinch took the idea of an aggregate levy to the province – and they adopted it.
Yet it was only in the past several years the province agreed to increase the levy for the first time.
“[Lever’s] work with the industry and the ministry to get that levy doubled again will be a benefit to this community and others for a long time,” said Bulmer.
“It happened as a result of your additional hard work – over and above being mayor.”
Lever thanked all members of council for their contributions to the community.
“I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve the community as mayor for the past eight years,” he said.
Lever said the councils in both terms worked to move the township ahead.
“We owe a great deal of thanks to CAO Karen Landry, former CAO Brenda Law, treasurer Mary Hasan, director of public works Don Creed, Puslinch Fire Chief Luis Gomes and all the other staff and firefighters for everything they have done for our community,” said Lever.
Before running for mayor, Lever said he’d spoken to a mayor from another municipality who stated, “it is going to take a lot longer to do anything than you could ever imagine.”
Pointing to the Morriston bypass as an example, Lever lauded the work done to date, even though it may be years before the bypass is constructed.
He called the 2016 death of councillor Wayne Stokley “a huge loss and unexpected loss.”
He noted there are many challenges council will face in the future and, as in the past, they will be met by councillors working together.
“As for me, it is going to be a little strange, not spending weekends reading agendas or checking my calendar to plan the week ahead,” said Lever. “I certainly want to wish our new council and staff the best.”