New term of Council inaugurated in Essex

The new term of Council was inaugurated during a special meeting on Monday evening. Pictured are: Front Row: Sherry Bondy (Ward 4), Joe Garon (Ward 1), and Kim Verbeek (Ward 2). Back Row: Morley Bowman (Ward 1), Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche, Mayor Larry Snively, Steve Bjorkman (Ward 3), and Chris Vander Doelen (Ward 3).

by Sylene Argent

Newly elected Town of Essex Council members sent a message of unity and a promise of working together on Monday evening at the inauguration meeting, which officially swore in the recently elected representatives.

  Each newly elected Council member took an oath to exercise the office to the best of their knowledge and ability and promised to not receive, and will not receive, payment or reward for the exercise of the office in a bias, corrupt, or any other improper manner. They also swore to disclose any pecuniary interest.  

  Each elected member of Council was then given the opportunity to make an address, where they all thanked their supporters for believing in them and their families for the understanding and assistance on the campaign trail.

  “We have a great Council here and I am really anxious to get started,” Mayor Larry Snively said. “I’m happy with the results. We have some new faces here, and I think as a Council, we are all going to work together to push this municipality forward.

  Snively said his first goal is to build a healthy tax reserve so money can be spent on infrastructure.

  He added he is excited to work will each member of Council and the administrative staff.  

  Essex Mayor Ron McDermott, who retired at the completion of the last term of Council, sang the National Anthem at the event with his barbershop group. Snively said he is not going to let McDermott retire, though. “His sixteen years of service to this Town was great, and I hope, Tout, that you will stand beside me if I need a hand with something. I know you will be there.”

  The remainder of the newly elected Council members also had a moment to address the gallery inside the Council Chambers at the Essex County Civic and Education Centre and comment about the excitement of what will be accomplished over the next four years.

  Ward One Councillor Morley Bowman added he is glad to be back at the municipal decision-making table after a four-year hiatus. He said as long as Council has a vision and members can work together, there will be success.

   “I am optimistic that we can move forward, working together, bringing about tonnes of change for our entire community. I’ve truly enjoyed my time on Council,” Councillor Sherry Bondy said, noting saying goodbye to coworkers is hard but it is exciting to welcome some new faces and fresh ideas.

  “One of my first goals is going to be restoring trust in our Council,” Bondy said. So, how can that be accomplished, “when we know there are some issues going on?” Bondy asked. One of the housekeeping issues she would like to look at is the Police Services Board and ensuring anyone under investigation is not on that Board until the investigation is complete.

  She would also like Council and administration to work on ensuring vulnerable citizens are protected so proxy votes are not taken advantage of.