Peterborough County to review how warden in chosen

·2 min read

Peterborough County council has decided to look into alternative options for electing a warden and deputy warden in 2022.

During council’s virtual meeting on Wednesday morning, Trent Lakes Mayor Janet Clarkson suggested the current methods to choose a warden and deputy warden should be reviewed.

Clarkson said the two-year length of term for the warden and the number of times a warden can serve, which currently has no restrictions, should be changed.

“I agree with the concept of it. I think this is something that I’ve actually been advocating now for quite some time,” Coun. Joe Taylor said.

Taylor, who is part of the county’s governance and communication committee along with Coun. Carolyn Amyotte, said the committee will do a comprehensive review of all the options Clarkson and other councillors have suggested, as well as other alternatives not discussed.

Coun. Scott McFadden agreed with Clarkson, saying there are other ways to pick a warden.

“The whole Durham Region just went through it. Now it’s (the regional chair) an actual elected position. There’s a lot of other municipalities that have gone through this exact process,” he said.

“I think it’s important to look at new ideas and moving forward perhaps in a different direction than what we’re used to,” Coun. Lori Burtt said.

Similarly, Coun. Bonnie Clark said, “I’m certainly open in to what is going on elsewhere in the province and a report coming back from staff and the governance committee.”

Trent Lakes Coun. Terry Lambshead, who was filling in for Ron Windover during the meeting, said, “We’re looking at the policy, not the position. Our past and present wardens have done a great job and we think you’ll continue to do so; I think it’s just important to look at policy and keep policy current.”

Clarkson, who noted her grandparents were once on council, stressed looking at the number of terms a warden can serve to ensure different viewpoints from across the county are brought to light.

Not every council member was in agreement with the ideas Clarkson suggested.

“Are you going to ask an outside agent to come and pick a warden? If the 16 people here can’t choose a warden, there’s a big problem,” said Coun. Jim Whelan.

NOTE: During the meeting, a councillor discovered one of the perils of livestreaming when he said ’I can’t wait to be done with this stupid council meeting’ without muting his computer’s microphone. Because a presentation was being screened, it’s unknown which councillor it was that made the comment.

Marissa Lentz is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: mlentz@peterboroughdaily.com

Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner