By Nate Smelle
Published Dec. 27 2017
As the only candidate up for taking over for outgoing warden of Haliburton County Brent Devolin Highlands East Deputy Mayor Suzanne Partridge was sworn in as warden on Dec. 12.
Partridge has played a key role in local politics for almost two decades having served as reeve of Cardiff in the ’90s prior to amalgamation in Highlands East.
She now shares the honour of becoming only the second deputy mayor in the county’s history – joining former deputy reeve of Dysart et al Bill Davis – to hold the office. When she learned in late November that she was the sole candidate to put her name forward for the position Partridge realized that she would most likely be the county’s warden for 2018. Eager to get to work she indicated that she intends to improve communications.
“I’m excited to take on a new challenge but it’s a little daunting and a steep learning curve” said Partridge.
“My primary focus will be to keep council informed of my activities and my participation in the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus.”
Partridge got her start in politics after returning home from studying political science in Rome Italy during the ’70s. When she arrived back in Canada she said she was encouraged by a family friend to run for the Haliburton County School Board.
Unsure if she should give it a go eventually she decided to throw her hat in the ring. From that point on she has remained engaged in the politics.
“I finally relented never expecting that I would be elected” said Partridge.
“Once on the school board I found that I was really enjoying the stimulation and having a say in the future of our community.”
Politics is not Partridge’s only passion. Having earned a diploma in horticulture at the University of Guelph she also has an affinity for gardening.
Spending time in the garden as the owner of her own landscaping business The Secret Gardener Partridge finds ideas and inspiration while planting seeds in the soil.
“Gardening is a very relaxing and rewarding pursuit” she said.
“It can clear the mind and allow creativity to flow. I also like the end result: beautiful flowers and great food.”