Reeve Bailey advocates for Morris-Turnberry amalgamation - Dec. 6, 2018
BY DENNY SCOTT
One of the first items on newly-installed North Huron Reeve Bernie Bailey’s to-do list is to look at amalgamation with Morris-Turnberry.
Bailey was sworn in at North Huron Council’s Monday night meeting and, during his opening statements, he plainly stated that amalgamation was his plan.
“North Huron and Morris-Turnberry should amalgamate,” he said.
Bailey said he wanted a complete review of all the agreements that the two municipalities have to lay the groundwork for such an action.
The municipalities currently share numerous services including building department operations, a bylaw control officer, fire services, multiple cross-border servicing agreements and funding of recreation centres.
If amalgamation doesn’t happen, Bailey said there are other ways the two municipalities can move forward. He said North Huron will grow under the new council and create opportunities, rather than miss them.
“This team will make decisions, hard decisions, based on fact, not fiction,” he said.
The rest of Bailey’s opening remarks focused on welcoming his fellow elected councillors, thanking the voters for handing him a convincing win at the polls and thanking his family for helping him run.
Bailey also thanked staff for the amount of work that was put in to preparing the way for the new councillors. He then laid out his philosophy for the coming years, including listening to individual concerns, focusing on the future and putting the shortcomings of other sessions of council behind the current one to focus on the future.
“We’re not going to spend years talking items to death, blaming staff, other councils or each other,” he said.
Council members were also given the chance to speak, with all making comments thanking their fellow councillors and Reeve, being encouraged by their interactions with their new fellow councillors and thanking those who had made them council members.
Councillor Trevor Seip from the Wingham Ward was named North Huron’s deputy-reeve for the next four years, clinching the position in a lopsided vote against newcomer Councillor Anita van Hittersum from East Wawanosh.
Fellow Wingham Ward Councillor Paul Heffer nominated Seip, while East Wawanosh Councillor Chris Palmer nominated van Hittersum.
Each candidate for the position made a short speech, with van Hittersum focusing on her leadership experience and Seip his four years of council experience, before all council members, save Palmer, voted for Seip.