Inaugural session of Renfrew County council
Steve Newman, Renfrew Mercury
New warden of Renfrew County.
Laurentian Valley Mayor Jack Wilson, who seconded the nomination of Peter Emon for warden of Renfrew County, helps out the new warden at the inaugural session Tuesday. They are joined by Admaston-Bromley Mayor Raye-Anne Briscoe, who nominated Emon.
Steve Newman, Renfrew Mercury
December 12, 2012
Family and community members shared in Tuesday-morning celebrations as Greater Madawaska Mayor Peter Emon was sworn in as the new warden of Renfrew County.
Emon, 52, of Calabogie succeeds Bob Sweet, who did not seek re-election after serving an unprecedented five terms, including the last two one-year terms.
Municipal officials on hand for the ceremonial inaugural session in the county council chambers in Pembroke were Greater Madawaska councillors Karin Lehnhardt and Bruno Kierczak, and five municipal staff — chief administrative officer Allison Holtzhauer, planner Marko Cekic, deputy-clerk Lindsay Taniwa, administrative assistant Cathy Appleyard and fire chief Betsy Sayers.
Family members in attendance included Emon’s wife Alanna and six-year-old daughter Lily, mother Shirley Emon of Calabogie and her husband Eric, as well as Emon’s mother-in-law Anna Swayze of Renfrew.
One of the changes under the new warden will be the creation of an ad hoc warden’s advisory committee.
The ad hoc committee will consist of past wardens Janice Visneskie of Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards, Don Rathwell of Whitewater Region and Bob Sweet of Petawawa (who still sit on county council), as well as county councillors Raye-Anne Briscoe of Admaston-Bromley, Jennifer Murphy of Bonnechere Valley, Dick Rabishaw of Laurentian Hills and David Thompson of Deep River.
Looking to rely on the past warden’s contacts and experience, Emon said in his inaugural speech that the committee’s duties will include “responsibility for the engagement and commitment of the provincial and federal governments for the orderly and much needed and often delayed expansion of Highway 417.”
The same committee, said Emon, will help push the priorities of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and formulate the county’s formal response when the federal or provincial governments ask for budget submissions.
In becoming warden, Emon said he did so with honour and humility.
He also did so while saying that family and community are essential to community development.
“It has often been said it takes a community to raise a child, and I would like to re-jig that phrase and suggest it takes a community to nurture a politician.”
In the same speech, he said he learned from an early age the importance of public service and the positive impact that citizens can have on a community.
“Public service is an essential component to defining and forming a community. It has often been said the municipal sector is the closest to the people and most responsive to the people, and I have yet to see that disproved.”
Those offering official congratulations were MPP John Yakabuski, and mayors David Reid of Arnprior, Ed Jacyno of Pembroke and Jim Labow of Whitewater Region.
“His commitment and his love of the county is evident,” said Yakabuski. “You have some tough footsteps to follow … but I know you will do a great job,” said Reid in reference to past warden Sweet and his successor.
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