Warden stalemate again settled by a hat

SDG – For the second time in four years, the top municipal position in the county was settled by drawing names from a hat.

SDG County council voted for the 2021 wardenship at the end of its October 19th meeting in the first contested election since 2017.

Incumbent warden Frank Prevost (South Glengarry) and challenger councillor Tony Fraser (North Dundas) put their names forward for election at September’s meeting. Prevost said at the time he sought a second term in the warden’s seat, in part, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I feel that I was shortfalled or somewhat cheated in not fulfilling the position of warden representing the counties. So I am asking for that opportunity one more time,” he said. Prevost added that while he had been warden 20 years ago, “it is not even close of what the opportunity is today.”

Fraser asked for council’s support saying he is proud to be able to contend for the warden’s position.

“Our collective voice needs to be heard at the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus,” he said. “The conversation needs to be had here and I will deliver that message to the [caucus] table.”

Fraser said that during the pandemic, council had to redouble its efforts to connect communities with each other in new ways. “We, for the foreseeable future. are living in the new normal and planning ahead remains the key to our successful adaptation to success in these unusual times.”

Prevost was nominated by councillors Lyle Warden (South Glengarry) and David Smith (South Stormont); Fraser was nominated by councillors Allan Armstrong (North Dundas) and Kirsten Gardner (South Dundas).

Council was divided after two successive 6-6 votes, resulting in drawing a ballot from a hat to settle the deadlock.

All ballots from the second vote were placed in a hard hat, with Prevost’s name selected from the hat by the clerk.

This is his second consecutive term and third term overall as warden. Prevost served his first term as warden in 2000, and ran unopposed in 2019 for the 2020 term.

“Thank you to the supporters around the table for giving me the confidence and support, and the opportunity to be the warden for 2021,” Prevost told council.

Fraser congratulated Prevost on his reelection and reiterated his commitment to serving on and working with council.

Councillor Jim Wert (North Stormont) called the election process a “win for everybody.”

“There are no losers,” he said. “It was just an incredibly hard decision based on the capabilities of both candidates.”

This is the second time in four years that the wardenship was settled by drawing names from a hat. In October 2017, then councillor Ian McLeod (South Glengarry) defeated councillor Evonne Delegarde (South Dundas) after two tie votes.

Prevost will begin his next term starting in December.

Since you’re here…

… Thanks for reading this article. Local news is important. We hope that you continue to support local news by reading The Leader, online and in print. Please consider subscribing to the print edition of the newspaper. Click here to subscribe today.