The Sixth Council of the Municipality of South Dundas, including South Dundas’ first female mayor, were sworn into office December 2, 2014.
About 50 people, including family, friends, supporters, and elected officials from neighbouring municipalities attended the inauguration ceremony at the South Dundas Municipal Centre in Morrisburg.
The ceremony started with invocation by Rev. Clarence Witten. Oaths of office was read in turn by each elected official. The Chain of Office was presented to South Dundas mayor Evonne Delegarde by South Dundas clerk Brenda Brunt and then area dignitaries formally offered their congratulations before Delegarde delivered her inaugural address.
“I am humbled by your support and by your confidence. All members of council are very cognizant of the serious responsibility and obligation that is bestowed upon us.” she said. “We are willing to engage our residents in an open and accessible manner and together with staff protect the quality of life and make South Dundas an even better place to live.”
To her council, Delegarde said that their journey together will be challenging, requiring patience, appreciation and respect for each other. “I encourage each of you to express your own independent points of view. At the end of the day, I am confident that we will operate as a team and make good decisions on behalf of our municipality.”
She spoke of the importance of customer service and open and honest communication, and the need to rebuild and strengthen relationships with various groups and organizations, recognizing their value.
Delegarde foresees financial challenges, and mentioned the need to do some planning for neglected village streets and sidewalks, and to deal with landfill issues. “The list is long, and we have much to accomplish.”
As part of her inaugural address, she announced that the Mayor’s office on the third floor of the SDMC has been re-named Mayor & Council office.
Each member of council had the opportunity to speak.
Re-elected South Dundas deputy mayor Jim Locke said that the budget will be council’s first challenge, saying that he would work to keep tax increases, at or near the cost of living.
First time councillor Marc St. Pierre said that it was an honour to be elected, and thanked his wife Michelle and daughter Victoria for their encouragement and support.
South Dundas councillor Bill Ewing said, “What we do a council, will be for the benefit of all residents of South Dundas.”
Re-elected councillor Archie Mellan said, “We have accomplished a lot, but there’s still a lot to do.”
The Sixth Council of the Municipality of South Dundas will hold their first full council meeting December 16, 2014.