Veteran warden to head up rookie SDG counties council

Incoming warden, Jamie MacDonald (Facebook photo)

SDG – The United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry will see an unprecedented number of new faces when it convenes for its inauguration ceremonies on December 14th.

Only two members of the last counties council are returning for this term. The bulk of the newly elected representatives are rookies to the counties council team.

The two returning members are Jamie MacDonald and Frank Prevost.

MacDonald, the acclaimed mayor of North Glengarry, will be sworn in as warden on December 14th.

MacDonald was acclaimed as SDG warden for the ensuing year at a recent counties council orientation session.

Elected annually, the warden is the head of counties council for one year. The role is both functional and ceremonial.

In order to be nominated warden, a counties councillor must have been a member of counties council for a minimum of one year.

Frank Prevost, the other returning member served the last term as deputy mayor of South Glengarry. He returns this term after being acclaimed South Glengarry’s mayor during the October municipal election.

That means that only MacDonald, Prevost, and former counties councillors who will return to the table after a one term hiatus – South Dundas mayor-elect Steven Byvelds and South Stormont mayor-elect Bryan McGillis –were even eligible for the position.

When more than one member is willing to let his/her name stand for the position, the warden is chosen by secret ballot, at a special meeting.

“I asked at the orientation who would be putting their name forward to be warden in 2019 to determine if a special meeting would be required,” said Helen Thompson, director of council services/clerk for the counties. “Jamie MacDonald was the only member interested in the position of Warden for 2019, hence no special meeting was required.”

All of the eligible members have previously served as SDG warden; MacDonald in 2016, Byvelds in 2011, McGillis in 2010 and Prevost is 2000.

Byvelds told The Leader that he knows he will be far too busy in the coming year to take on the warden’s job.

No South Dundas representative has held the position of warden since Byvelds in 2011.

MacDonald will lead a mostly new group of counties councillors.

Both North Stormont and North Dundas will have completely new representation.

North Stormont’s counties councillors will be mayor-elect Jim Wert and deputy mayor-elect Francois Landry. Both are new to the counties table, but not new to municipal politics having both served in the last term as North Stormont councillors.

North Dundas’ counties councillors will be mayor-elect Tony Fraser and deputy mayor-elect Allan Armstrong. Fraser is a two term North Dundas councillor and Armstrong is a five term North Dundas council member. This will be the first time for both serving as counties councillors.

Representing North Glengarry, alongside returning counties councillor and soon to be warden Jamie MacDonald, is new counties councillor Carma Williams. Williams who served as North Glengarry councillor the previous term, and won the four-way deputy mayor’s race in that municipality.

Representing South Glengarry alongside returning counties councillor Frank Prevost will be Lyle Warden. Warden had previously served as South Glengarry councillor before being elected deputy mayor. This will be his first time serving on counties council.

South Stormont and South Dundas both have former counties councillors returning to the table.

Mayor-elect Bryan McGillis, will serve his third non-consecutive term on counties council when he is sworn-in to office December 14th.

With him will be David Smith. Smith who served last term as South Stormont councillor. This will be his first time serving on counties council. Smith is presently under investigation by the integrity commissioner regarding an incident that occurred during the most recent term of council.

Mayor-elect Steven Byvelds, will be returning to the counties council table for the third time. Byvelds was elevated to counties council for a partial term following the 2009 death of South Dundas mayor Charles Barkley and then was elected to a full term in the following election.

Joining Byvelds as South Dundas counties representative will be deputy mayor-elect Kirsten Gardner. Gardner is the only political new-comer directly elected counties council.
December 1st South Dundas will be the first of the lower-tier councils sworn into office.

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