New council term begins in Hamilton Township
The 2014-2018 council for Hamilton Township was sworn into office Tuesday night. They are, from the left, Councillors Pat McCourt, Bill Cane and Scott Jibb, Deputy Mayor Gary Woods and Mayor Mark Lovshin. VALERIE MACDONALD/Northumberland Today
During his inaugural address to Hamilton Township council Tuesday night, re-elected Mayor Mark Lovshin said he believed he and his fellow councillors took office “to make Hamilton Township a better place to live.”
The previous council term was full of internal council and staff strife, and few accomplishments, Lovshin said during the months leading up to the election.
Making the township a better place will be accomplished by using the experience of those on council to strengthen it, he said.
Only Lovshin and Deputy Mayor Gary Woods are returning to council while the majority were not there last term. The new councillors are Pat McCourt, Bill Cane and Scott Jibb. That said, however, McCourt was a township councillor four years ago and Jibb retired recently from the township as its chief building official.
“We need to represent our ratepayers and prove ourselves to them,” the mayor also said. “We need to find a balance between our service levels and our tax rate. There is going to be tough decisions. Decisions that need to be made on behalf of the whole municipality, not just a few. Tax rates are everyones’ concern so we need to keep them under control with minimal increases. We need to continue to find savings. We need to look at more efficient ways to deliver our services.”
Mayor Lovshin also talked about the need to work with staff.
“Our staff is important, giving direction and advice to help us move forward successfully. To help us in our decision making. They are here to make us look good. We need to be respectful and thankful to them.
“They are an important part of our team.”
The previous council, in a 3/2 vote opposed by Lovshin and Woods, fired its long time chief administrative officer (CAO). It also let go its most current CAO after about a year. It currently has an executive director/chief financial officer heading up its staff.
During his speech and after the swearing-in ceremony, Lovshin reiterated that he is “excited about the new council.”
It was very telling when Lovshin said he looked forward to working with all of them “to be proud of our achievements” during the next four years. Many times his leadership was challenged by the past council whose members opposed him – two who were not re-elected (Donna Cole and John Davison) and former Deputy Mayor Isobel Hie who did not seek re-election.