Warden appointed Mayor of South Glengarry; Jaworski Deputy Mayor

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By Nick Seebruch
Warden appointed Mayor of South Glengarry; Jaworski Deputy Mayor
South Glengarry Township Council at a Special Meeting on Thursday, December 9, 2021 to appoint a new Mayor.

SOUTH GLENGARRY, Ontario – The Township of South Glengarry has a new Mayor and Deputy Mayor, two days after former Mayor Frank Prevost announced his resignation. Council chose to appoint Deputy Mayor Lyle Warden to the Mayor’s seat, and Councillor Stephanie Jaworski as Deputy Mayor at a Special Meeting of Council on Thursday evening, Dec. 9.

Prevost, who was facing criminal charges, has been on a six month unpaid leave of absence since June. He announced his resignation on Tuesday, Dec. 7 in a letter to the Township.

Prevost’s trial is scheduled for 2023, after the next municipal election, which will be in the fall of 2022.

“He won’t continue with that sort of cloud over council,” said Prevost’s lawyer Mark Ertel to Seaway News on Tuesday. “He did not want to do that to his colleagues or the community.”

READ MORE: South Glengarry Mayor Frank Prevost resigns

To fill the vacancy, Council had the option of appointing a person as Mayor, or holding a by-election.

There was no appetite around the Council table for a by-election.

A by-election would take three months, with an estimated cost of $25,500, not including the time it would take for administration to manage the election.

“If we were in the first two years of the term I can see, but we’re in the final year of the term. By the time the person’s appointed there’s going to be about seven months left,” said Councillor Martin Lang. “To spend the money to do that, we’ll be only a couple of months away from doing the next one.”

Lang and the rest of Council voiced their support for Warden being appointed as Mayor. As Deputy Mayor, Warden has been filling in as Acting Mayor for the past six months.

“I don’t think it makes sense to bring in someone who hasn’t been a part of Council the past three years to lead Council and to speak, essentially for the Township,” said Councillor Jaworski. “I think Deputy Mayor Warden has done an excellent job stepping in so far and I think formalizing that arrangement is in the best interest of the Township and the most responsible course as well.”

Warden was appointed to the Mayor’s office unanimously.

Council also wanted consistency in who they picked to be Deputy Mayor, so again, chose from within.

“Given how we’ve learned over the past six months how important it is to have a good Deputy Mayor in place in a situation such as what we’ve gone through, or something similar, I think it is only fitting that we go through the same process and we appoint within our existing Council,” said Councillor Sam McDonell. “As Council Jaworski said before, I think it is only fitting that it be someone who has been a part of this council and the strategic planning and all that we’ve gone through the past few years.”

Councillor Stephanie Jaworski has been representing South Glengarry on the United Counties of SD&G Council in Prevost’s absence. The United Counties Council is composed of the Mayors and Deputy Mayors of the six townships that comprise Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry.

“Councillor Jaworski has done an excellent job at County Council. She’s been in the thick of it for six months and I would like to see her continue the rest of this term,” said Councillor Lang.

Councillor Jaworski was appointed unanimously to Deputy Mayor.

“It has been very rewarding being at the County table the last six months, and I really appreciate the opportunity to finish that term and important files, particularly one that is near and dear to my heart because I don’t foresee the opportunity to be back there again for quite some time,” Jaworski said.

With Jaworski being elevated to Deputy Mayor, this now left another vacancy on Council. Councillors decided again against holding a by-election to fill the vacant Council seat.

“I don’t feel at this point it makes logical sense or financial sense for us to hold a by-election,” said Councillor McDonell. “I know however it is the most democratic way for roughly seven months, and part of those seven months being election time, again, it doesn’t make sense to go to a by-election at this point.”

Council ultimately voted in favour of creating an application process inviting eligible residents of South Glengarry to apply for the vacant Council seat. Administration will return to Council with a report on the application process at their next meeting on Monday, Dec. 20.

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