Wednesday’s council meeting was the final session for the 2018-2022 Muskoka Lakes Council.
The municipal election held on October 24th had some councillors lose re-election bids and some retire from the council table.
Exiting councillors Donelda Hayes, Frank Jaglowitz, Barb Bridgeman as well as exiting mayor Phil Harding all said their goodbyes to council.
Bridgeman who is retiring after one term on council highlighted council’s accomplishments as well as the cordial relations among councillors.
“A lot of work done during this, I made great friendships with a wonderful group of people who’ve worked well together and I wish them all well going forward,” Bridgeman said.
Hayes who is leaving council after nearly 12 years, stated spoke highly of her time on council.
“I just wanted to say what a pleasure it was to work with everybody and to represent Muskoka lakes. It’s been a wonderful time. It’s been a trying time sometimes. We haven’t always seen eye to eye but we’ve always respected each other and my hope is that that will go on with future Councils,” Hayes said.
During the meeting, Chief Administrative Officer Derrick Hammond introduced a report which discussed the accomplishments of council this term. The report highlighted the passing of a new strategic plan as well as council’s response to the 2019 township flood and Covid-19 Pandemic.
Harding took the opportunity to highlight the work of township staff.
“We did a lot, based on a pandemic based on floods. Staff continually were challenged with new and different issues that had oftentimes never been faced before. So just personally, I want to thank staff for your dedication to the township,” Harding said.
The incoming council will have several new faces. New councillors include Mary Ellen McIntyre, Guy Burry, Rob Bosomworth and Sally Moyer Kent. Current councillor Peter Kelley will be taking over for Harding as mayor.
Harding took a moment to wish Kelley luck in the role.
“I look forward to your leadership as you move forward over the next term of Council. I think we can all agree that we all have very strong personalities and certainly have worked together to accomplish a lot and I know that over the next term of council you to will accomplish a lot as you move forward,” Harding said. The inaugural council will be held Wednesday, December 14th.
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