By Darren Lum
Published Dec. 18 2018
If you came late to this year’s Haliburton County inauguration you would be hard pressed to find a seat let alone much standing room at the back of council chambers in Minden.
The large crowd welcomed the county’s new warden Algonquin Highlands Deputy Mayor Liz Danielsen on Tuesday Dec. 11.
Danielsen thanked all the people “who helped me in so many ways.”
During her prepared speech Danielsen laid out her intentions for the upcoming term.
“My approach for the year will be to listen to advice from you all and to look to each of you to offer your individual strengths and knowledge. It doesn’t matter who sits at the head of the table chairing our meetings. We each have an equal voice collective goals and a lot to bring to the table in way-finding the solutions to the challenges we all face” she said.
Among the challenges she referred to were streamlining services expanding on broadband transportation preparation for extreme weather events and expanding joint purchasing among others.
Amalgamation is not the “best answer” for the county because of geography and the “uniqueness of each of our four municipalities” she said.
Danielsen said cost savings from amalgamation “may not be a reality.”
“I prefer to think we can find a made in Haliburton solution but how we proceed isn’t up to me. It’s up to all of us as a team” she said. “During our initial planning discussions we must try to reach an agreement on our priorities and how we will move forward to reach conclusions in this regard. One step at a time and considering our decisions must to the best of our ability benefit all four municipalities equally. I promise to keep you fully informed regularly on activities I take part in on your behalf. I will be open to any thoughts or concerns you might have particularly if it will make our jobs a bit easier as we go forward. Once again thank you to everyone in the room. I sincerely mean that.”
She was honoured by the unanimous support of the incoming county council who also took their declaration of office just before Danielsen was named warden.
This year’s council includes Highlands East Mayor Dave Burton and Deputy Mayor Cec Ryall Minden Hills Mayor Brent Devolin and Deputy Mayor Lisa Schell Algonquin Highlands Mayor Carol Moffatt and Dysart et al Mayor Andrea Roberts and Deputy Mayor Pat Kennedy.
Danielsen takes over from last year’s warden Suzanne Partridge. This will be the third term Danielsen has served for the county.
Danielsen was nominated by Roberts and seconded by Burton.
She was the only candidate for warden in advance of a late October deadline. Each year county councillors select from among themselves who will serve as warden. Haliburton County council is comprised of the mayor and deputy mayor of each of the county’s four lower-tier municipalities.
The deputy warden will be sworn in during a meeting in January. On Wednesday Burton put his name forth for consideration for the position. He was the only one to do so. The deputy warden assists in representing Haliburton County when the warden is unavailable.