This honorary gavel goes to Bob Sweet, as he nears the end of his unprecedented fifth term as Renfrew County warden. He is joined by fellow county councillors Peter Emon of Greater Madawaska and Raye-Anne Briscoe of Admaston-Bromley during the Nov. 28 session of county council.
Steve Newman, Renfrew Mercury
It was ceremonial stuff, but the expressions of gratitude were genuine.
In recognizing outgoing Renfrew County Warden Bob Sweet, who has served an unprecedented five terms in that office, county council gave him a brief standing ovation as he chaired his final meeting of Renfrew County council Nov. 28.
Greater Madawaska Mayor Peter Emon and Admaston-Bromley Mayor Raye-Anne Briscoe, who were the respective nominator and seconder for his last two terms, thanked Sweet for his quality of service and delivered an honorary gavel.
Sweet later said the gavels he has received over the years are important symbols. He has given two to his children, and kept the others at his home in Petawawa.
Emon said he was pleased to represent county council, by expressing words of gratitude, in recognition of “the efforts, time, leadership and the other skills that Warden Sweet brought to this job two years ago and demonstrated, and will demonstrate, through until 11 o’clock on Dec. 11.”
Dec. 11 is the date of the inaugural session when Emon will be sworn in as the new warden.
Sweet also held consecutive one-year terms as warden in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
“We’re all appreciative of him, his advice individually or for his recommendations to council,” said Emon.
“I know I certainly have benefitted over the years from him and his expertise, in dealing with industry, in dealing with individuals and (working) in the community.
“I know, from watching his interaction with the rest of you (county council), that he is sought on a regular basis, by you, for advice and for that leadership as well. We are very fortunate to have had him serve.
“But as we said at the warden’s banquet, it’s not as if he’s dying. He’s going to be here two more years and he’s still a tremendous asset to utilize and call upon.
“Thank you on behalf of staff and county council and the ratepayers of Renfrew County for everything you’ve done for us,” he told Sweet.
Briscoe, knowing he has been in municipal politics for about 25 years, thanked Sweet “ever so much for all the wonderful years of service.”
In response, Warden Sweet said, “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with you and for you over the past two years. I sincerely mean that. It is a great community to live and work in.”
He also tipped his hat to county staff for their support, but particularly to administrative assistant Rose Gruntz for being “an absolute rock in the warden’s office” and a tremendous asset to the county.
Echoing Emon’s comments, Sweet added, “I’m not leaving, although I’ll being leaving this chair.”
A talented golfer, Sweet also promised to spend more time on the golf course next year and the year after that.