Inaugural council meetings held across Peterborough County

Lower-tier municipalities across Peterborough County are in the process of installing council members at inaugural swearing-in ceremonies, welcoming a total of 19 new councillors in the eight townships for the next term, following the Oct. 24 municipal elections.

Five meetings are set for next week, and three have already taken place.

On Monday at 7 p.m., Cavan Monaghan Township and the Municipality of Trent Lakes will hold their meetings, while Otonabee South-Monaghan Township's inaugural meeting takes place on Monday at 1 p.m.

Asphodel-Norwood Township’s first meeting is slated for Tuesday at 1 p.m., and Selwyn Township's at 3 p.m. on the same day.

Havelock-Belmont-Methuen, Douro-Dummer and North Kawartha Townships held their meetings on Tuesday.

Havelock-Belmont-Methuen Township opened the eighth council of its amalgamated municipality with declaration of office oaths and comments by each member.

Mayor Jim Martin asked the new council to work with staff “to squash the negativity that has crept in, especially during the pandemic."

“We are coming out of a time of unprecedented disruption and have a lot of work ahead of us ... let’s work together as a team and bring Havelock-Belmont-Methuen back to the township we once were, where the municipalities looked up to us as leaders,” he said.

Dave Smith, MPP for Peterborough-Kawartha, in a letter to council, said he'll continue working with the township on the long-term care home and medical facility, road safety measures on Highway 7, getting shovels in the ground for broadband infrastructure and supporting housing and development.

At the first meeting of North Kawartha Township’s new council, Mayor Carolyn Amyotte said despite the challenges of the past few years, “it feels like North Kawartha is on the cusp of some great opportunities. Just look at what happened last term — the global pandemic; we made our first-ever emergency declaration, and our only grocery store burned to the ground.”

“Our community has been through the wringer these past few years.”

But it also created a new township brand, developed a municipal grant program, set out to achieve greater safety on Highway 28, saw new businesses open and the grocery store is being rebuilt, Amyotte said.

She also noted the council now has its second woman on board for the first time in 20 years, with the election of RuthAnne McIlmoyl as councillor at large.

At the Douro-Dummer Township meeting, Mayor Heather Watson said the new council, which represents significant change — there are three new members — is well-poised to lead the community so it can prosper and grow.

“Together, let’s make a difference while building on traditions of Douro-Dummer,” she said.

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner