Grey County warden Selwyn Hicks thanks outgoing council

At his final meeting as Grey County Warden, Selwyn Hicks took time to reflect on the accomplishments of the past four years and thank councillors and staff for their support.

On Nov. 10, Grey County council held its final meeting of the current term with Hicks ended the meeting with his closing address to council. Hicks has served as warden three of the past four years, but was not reelected as deputy mayor in Hanover in October’s election.

“On December 4, 2018 — exactly three years, eleven months and six days ago — the members around this horseshoe were sworn-in to office by her Honour Justice Morneau. Little did we know that one year later we would be faced with an unprecedented healthcare challenge that would rock the word,” said Hicks. “In my 2022 inaugural address, I told you that I wanted us to be remembered, not for what we faced, but for our relentless commitment to achieve results for the people of Grey County in spite of it."

In his address, Hicks recounted a number of accomplishments achieved by the current council and the county as a whole over the past four years.

They include:

“Let there be no doubt that Grey County is making headway on multiple projects that go directly to improving the quality of life for our residents,” said Hicks. “I want to thank our senior management team. I said it last year and I’ll say it again this year. You showed incredible resilience and grit in the face of adversity. I thank you and this council thanks you for your leadership, professionalism and commitment to the people.”

The warden thanked county CAO Kim Wingrove for her leadership and professionalism and also thanked former MPP Bill Walker, MP Alex Ruff and current MPP Rick Byers for all their hard work on behalf of Grey County residents. Hicks also expressed his gratitude to Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Arra for all of his support and wisdom during the pandemic.

“I’d like to conclude by saying what an absolute privilege and honour it was to serve as your warden,” he said. “It’s an experience I will never forget. You elected the county’s first visible minority warden in her 170-year history. We had challenging times. There were many difficult and close decisions. There were a few occasions when I had to call and offer some, let’s say, gentle warden’s counsel. You were always respectful, understanding and professional. I thank you for that. You answered my call each and every time I put a challenge to you.”

Video and full text of the warden’s closing address can be found here.

The new Grey County council will be sworn in on Dec. 6 at 11 a.m. A new warden will be chosen at that time.

Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca