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Warden's Inaugural Address

Warden’s 2010 Inaugural Address

December 8, 2010

I want to begin by saying thank you to all my fellow County Council members for their confidence in me to help lead the County for the next ten years. Your support is greatly appreciated. I also want to thank each member for their hospitality shown during my recent visits and discussions with them on current and future County issues. Your input has and will prove invaluable and I thank you.

I would also like to thank all my family members and friends who have been so supportive these past few weeks - and especially to thank my wife Brenda whom after a brief discussion on my running stated “ Go For It.’’ These were the final words of encouragement I needed.

The next four years are certain to hold numerous challenges but after our meetings and knowing the majority of the members, I feel confident that as a team of County Council we can not only meet these challenges but surpass them.

Of course, a major part of this team is our Administration. You have done no less than an excellent job these past four years and I know that excellence will continue. Warden Santos - I wish to say thank you as our past Warden for a stellar job of always putting the needs of the County above all else and being there regardless of the number of hours required.

There are a number of issues which are now staring us in the face and there will be more that will suddenly crop up. Some of these issues are going to be best dealt with on a regional basis. We can no longer stay within our own municipal boundaries and expect to be a leader in our province or in a global world. We are competing not against our neighbouring municipalities or the City of Windsor but on a much larger global scale. If we are to win, we need to work together. We must create “Win-Win” situations for all involved.

Some of the upcoming issues involve the Windsor Essex Parkway and the role we are to play and how we are going to manage diverted routes for all the traffic. With the economy still far from recovered, we need to deal with job creation and with that increased economic development.

There are continuous infrastructure needs that are going to demand our time and our dollars. Our roads need constant surfacing and resurfacing. Within all of this there is that message from our ratepayers to keep taxes down. With the budget coming shortly we need to keep this message at the forefront as we finalize capital projects and set the final budget figure.

The official plan will also need to be finalized in order that future growth and development within our individual municipalities can continue. With our present generations there is a growing need for recreational areas such as walking paths or trails along all our County roads. Essex County is becoming more and more a place of envy for those who wish to retire. All of these issues will need our attention.

I look forward to working with each of you in the upcoming months and want to end by stating that my office door will be open and you are most welcome to come in and share problems and concerns as well as joyous events.

Once again, thank you everyone for your support and I look forward to working with you as a team member.