Council concludes cordially

by Sylene Argent

Monday evening marked the last time the 2014-2018 Term of Essex Council would host a regular meeting.

  After completing the items outlined in the agenda, outgoing Council members took the time to say goodbye, while those continuing on spoke about what is to come in the future.

  Outgoing Essex Mayor Ron McDermott, who decided to retire at the completion of this Term of Council, took the time to recognize Youth Council Reps Ethan Robinson and Ehva Hoffmann and presented them with a gift of appreciation. He thanked the duo for bringing ideas forward to Council, from a youth perspective. He said it was wonderful to have a couple of youth involved with Council and hoped that they would stay involved.

  McDermott also presented outgoing Councillors Randy Voakes and Ron Rogers with $250 donations that were made out to charities in their name. Rogers’s donation will go to ACCESS and Voakes’s donation will go to the Arthritis Society of Canada, in remembrance of his daughter, Priscilla. Voakes said he would double the donation out of his last Council pay.

  Rogers, McDermott said, devoted a lot of time to the community, a commitment which is hard to match. “Our Council has been stronger because of you,” he said to Rogers.

  Rogers thanked administration for the help and guidance. He also thanked the residents of the Town of Essex for allowing him to spend the past year, and previous years, as a rep at the municipal decision-making table. Rogers won the by-election in 2017.

Voakes shook McDermott’s hand and noted, with that gesture, he buried all ill feelings of the past. The duo then hugged.

  McDermott said he and Voakes may not have always gotten along, but they had one thing in common; passion for the community.

  Looking ahead, Voakes said the 2019 installment of the Essex Rocks ‘n Rolls Cruise In will be bigger and better than ever. This will be held in conjunction with the Essex Business Expo. He is a member of the event’s Commitee.

  “It is going to be a fantastic show,” he said.

  Voakes requested a 30 second moment of silence be taken in memory of Michelle Prince, former Mayor of Windsor, Eddie Francis’s wife, who recently passed after a battle with cancer.

  McDermott took the time to thank fellow Council members and staff for their hard work over his career as Mayor.

  “We all did a great job for the Town of Essex. We all had the Town of Essex right here,” McDermott said placing his had over his heart. “Believe me. Together, with administration, we accomplished a lot.

  “Where we may not have always agreed, we fought for what we believed was right,” McDermott continued.

  He also thanked administration for helping Council’s vision become a reality. “While we work to make decisions, you make our decisions work.”

  McDermott gave credit to his late wife, Gladys, for her encouragement, as to why he got into politics.

  After amalgamation, McDermott said he had one goal, and that was to unite the municipality. He thinks a great job has been done in achieving that.  

After the meeting, the community was invited to celebrate McDermott’s retirement at a get-together hosted inside the Shaheen Community Room at the Essex Centre Sports Complex.