Peckett named deputy warden for 2018
Sean Chase/Daily Observer Renfrew County Warden Jennifer Murphy congratulates McNab/Braeside Mayor Tom Peckett on his appointment as deputy warden for 2018. The term will expire in December when the next council is sworn-in.
McNab/Braeside Mayor Tom Peckett will represent Renfrew County as the deputy warden for the next year.
County council passed a resolution Wednesday naming the chairman of the operations committee to the post. His term will end in December when the next County council is sworn-in following the October municipal elections.
“We're the largest county in Ontario and the warden can't be everywhere at one time. This is definitely an honour,” said Peckett, who is in his first term as mayor of McNab/Braeside. “I am very pleased that my peers and the warden have put their trust in me. I am very honoured that they have selected me to act on their behalf.”
The deputy warden will be a largely ceremonial post and will not be expected to chair meetings of County Council as a presiding officer in the absence of the warden, who is currently Bonnechere Valley Mayor Jennifer Murphy. It was created in 2015 abolishing the position of acting warden. Council maintained the title of honourary warden which is reserved for a long-standing elected official with 50 or more years of service in municipal government.
For 2017, council allowed for the appointment of two deputy wardens, Killaloe, Hagarty, Richards Mayor Janice Visneskie-Moore and Madawaska Valley Mayor Kim Love, in case there were too many events for the warden to attend especially during Canada’s 150th birthday celebration. While she only attended two events for Murphy, Visneskie-Moore, a former multi-term warden, still sees a requirement for the post.
“When I was the warden sometimes you would get five invitations for day,” she said. “People would be very insulted if the warden didn't come. It is an important function and everybody should feel we are there to support them.”
The position of deputy warden, however, remains an issue of discussion around the upper tier. In fact, the amendment to the procedural bylaw in 2015 was not unanimous passing with a weighted vote of 78 to 62. Arnprior Reeve Walter Stack hinted that the position may not be needed after the Canada 150 year.
“To my mind, I didn't think this was going to be an ongoing thing,” said Stack.
Murphy said there is no need for two deputies, however, a deputy is important in order that the county be represented at all public events it has been invited to.
“It is nice to know you have someone to go as the deputy warden so that those people feel they are as important to the county as anyone else,” she said.