KENILWORTH – Ward 4 councillor Steve McCabe hopes to take over from Guelph/Eramosa Mayor Chris White as the “Zone 2” representative at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) for the 2023-27 term.
White is not seeking reelection to the board.
“I’m excited to put my name in for zone two chair for the board of ROMA,” McCabe told council at a Dec. 5 meeting.
McCabe noted his two terms as a Wellington North councillor, and experience with the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority and agricultural groups, have provided him with “a good idea of what’s going on” in the area.
Support lined up
The councillor also said he has “lined up some support out of Perth County and Southgate and Minto” and is “working on the others,” including Bruce, Grey and Huron counties and the Region of Waterloo.
There are 10 zones represented by elected officials who form the board.
According to its website, ROMA works “collaboratively with Ontario’s municipal community to ensure that provincial funding, policies and programs consider rural perspectives and unique challenges.”
At the Dec. 5 meeting, councillor Sherry Burke questioned McCabe on how much time he would spend away from Wellington North.
According to a ROMA document included in the Dec. 5 council agenda, there are at least eight meetings per year in Toronto (members receive a $92 per diem per day when attending to ROMA business, and receive travel and meal stipends).
“Shouldn’t have any problems with my time here on Wellington North council and I will be able to do this position as well,” McCabe said, to Burke’s satisfaction.
Mayor Andy Lennox thanked McCabe for putting his name forward for the position and voiced his confidence in the councillor.
Motion of support
Council passed a motion to support McCabe’s bid — a requirement for his running.
In an emailed statement to the Community News, McCabe wrote: “Rural Ontario struggles attracting health care workers. … Our environment, infrastructure, housing and growth are all things that affect Wellington North and all of rural Ontario, so I look forward to bringing this experience and applying what I know to the ROMA board.
“While geographically Ontario is vastly different, a lot of the issues we have are not,” he added.
ROMA members will vote for zone representatives in Toronto on Jan. 23 at the ROMA conference.