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The New Kawartha Lakes council was sworn into office at a recent meeting

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: The new and returning City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor and Councillors were sworn into office at the inaugural council meeting, on Tuesday, November 15th.

The meeting began, in council chambers, with each member introduced by Town Crier Athol Hart. Returning members include: Ward 1 Councillor Emmett Yeo, Ward 6 Councillor Ron Ashmore and Ward 8 Councillor Tracy Richardson. Doug Elmslie, who had served the last term as a councillor, was elected Mayor of the municipality. New members include: Ward 2 Councillor Pat Warren, Ward 3 Councillor Mike Perry, Ward 4 Councillor Dan Joyce, Ward 5 Councillor Eric Smeaton and Ward 7 Councillor Charlie McDonald.

Each of these members took the oath of office and signed the declaration of office, in front of Superior Court Justice Drew Gunsolus. New Mayor Elmslie also put on the mayoral chains for the first time. The 'ReUnion Choir' also performed music.

Following the musical interlude, Councillor Warren nominated Councillor Richardson to serve as the first deputy mayor of this term of council. Councillor Yeo tried to nominate Councillor Ashmore for the role but could not find someone to second the motion. So, Councillor Richardson was acclaimed as deputy mayor and will serve with that title until December 31st, 2023.

"It's an honour and privilege to be sitting as the first deputy mayor of this next term of council," she said. "I think we've built a lot of momentum in the last term of council with proper communication and education, and we need to continue that."

To close the event, new Mayor Doug Elmslie had an opportunity to address those in attendance and those watching the live stream online.

"Some of us have been on council previously, and we know the many challenges [which] lie ahead; from balancing budgets to juggling multiple committee meetings to making time to hear from our constituents. Others are brand new to this role, and I look forward to hearing their fresh insights. It is only by challenging the way we have always done things that we can improve. Kawartha Lakes, as a municipality, has shown its commitment to continuous improvement, and I know this council will embrace that value."

Mayor Elmslie stated, this council will "work together for the greater good and treat each other with respect." Conversations at the council table will be "inclusive of all communities within our vast area of Kawartha Lakes so no one feels left out."

Mayor Elmslie listed the upcoming budget, affordable housing, investments in roads and decisions on the future of City landfills as upcoming priorities for this council.

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