CORNWALL – Councillor Allan Armstrong (North Dundas) is the newly-elected Warden of SDG Counties. County Council held a special election at the end of its regular meeting today (June 21).
Council was forced to decide what to do with the vacant Warden’s position following the declaration that now former Warden Frank Prevost was ineligible for the office. Prevost has been granted a six-month unpaid leave of absence by South Glengarry council, following his arrest for multiple sex crime-related charges on June 8.
After a lengthy discussion of the options earlier in today’s meeting Lyle Warden, acting warden for the County, proposed the election be held at the end of the regular meeting.
Three candidates were nominated for the impromptu election: Armstrong, Councillor Steven Byvelds (South Dundas) and Bryan McGillis (South Stormont).
Byvelds said he appreciated the support from Councillors Kirsten Gardner (South Dundas) and Jim Wert (North Stormont) for the nomination. That said, he opted to withdraw his nomination, leaving Armstrong and McGillis to square off for election.
Armstrong was nominated by Councillor Jamie MacDonald (North Glengarry) and seconded by Councillor Frank Landry (North Stormont). McGillis was nominated by Councillor David Smith (South Stormont) and seconded by Councillor Lyle Warden (South Glengarry).
Armstrong cited a recent change with his employment that would allow him more time to dedicate to the role of Warden, and his 22 years of experience in municipal politics.
McGillis, who previously was warden in 2010, also cited his extensive experience in past councils, along with his work during this term of County Council.
After the results were announced, Armstrong said he appreciated the backing of the council.
“Out of some different times comes some good things,” he said in his victory speech. “There has been some changes in my life recently and now I have the time to devote to this job [of Warden].”
Armstrong is employed by JED Express, a South Mountain transportation firm that is closing at the end of June.
“I appreciate each and every person sitting at this table and I am not looking to do anything but just guide the meetings and the ship and represent SDG as well as possible. Thank you very much.”
After a single ballot, Casselman announced Armstrong’s victory after about a 25-minute period. SDG Council is still meeting virtually due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Voting was conducted by CAO Tim Simpson and Clerk Kimberly Casselman by phone to maintain a virtual secret ballot.
Armstrong will serve the remainder of the 2021 term as Warden. County Council will hold an election in October for the final one-year term of Warden, to serve between December 2021 and November 2022.