KAWARTHA LAKES-Ward 7 Councillor Charlie McDonald has been elected the new Deputy Mayor for 2024. He assumes the responsibility from outgoing Deputy Mayor Tracy Richardson.
Council heard from outgoing Deputy Mayor, Tracy Richardson on December 12 about her term during 2023.
Richardson began by thanking Mayor Elmslie for his support, the opportunities provided to her, and the support of all Councillors, noting that 2023 was a ‘whirlwind’ year.
Richardson said she enjoyed seeing many projects come to fruition, such as major investments in roads, community halls and parks to positively impact residents’ lives.
The Deputy Mayor decides on a focus each year, and Deputy Mayor Richardson championed the ‘Did You Know’ project over the summer. The goals of the project were to educate, engage and learn from community members how they want to receive information and how they feel about customer service provided by the municipality.
“I was thrilled with the level of engagement from more than 500 residents regarding the value of the video series. I also heard that folks are in the mindset to learn more and engage. We have the tools already, we just need to remind people how to access the tools. Once they Jump In, they will be better informed, and we’ll be stronger with more opinions being exchanged,” commented Richardson.
The Customer Service and Communications Strategies are being informed by the Did You Know public input and will come to Council in early 2024.
Richardson closed by speaking about the Missing Children’s Society of Canada (MCSC) Rescu App, an initiative of particular importance to her.
“We are the first municipality in Ontario to adopt and rollout the app. Together with our first responders, we had a strong public education campaign. Just this past September, a Lindsay resident recognized two teenagers from an alert in the app, and her call resulted in their safe return home. This is priceless. I encourage everyone if you haven’t downloaded the app, do it today. In closing, to my fellow Councillors: some days in this role aren’t easy, because people aren’t as respectful as they used to be. Keep on doing great work and do not let others define who you are. One year down, three to go. We will be challenged with the pending growth but we are staying out front and helping our residents grow with us.”
Mayor Elmslie and Council showed their appreciation with a round of applause.
Councillor Charlie McDonald, Ward 7, was elected as the Deputy Mayor for 2024. A lifelong resident and business owner in Kawartha Lakes, McDonald is known to many through his involvement with the Terry Fox Run. He is serving his first term on Council and noted:
“I’m very passionate about Kawartha Lakes and want the best for the community. I’ve learned a lot this past year, and I understand there’s a lot more to learn. It’s a hard act to follow after Tracy Richardson, with her compassion and dedication. My mission is to continue serving as a champion for the rollout of the Short Term Rentals program. As Chair of the Task Force that brought the program together, I believe these rentals are an important part of our economy, but they need to respect year round residents. The rollout will be important and we’ll start 2024 strong. In October 2024, Kawartha Lakes will host the International Plowing Match. This is a great opportunity to support our newly revitalized downtowns. Let’s show off everything we have to offer from tourism to business opportunities. My third focus is to continue the Did You Know approach to ensure communication and customer service remains at the forefront. Residents have shown us they appreciated it and are looking for more ways to stay engaged. I’m looking forward to the year ahead.”
Congratulations to both.
This article has been updated with a correction to the spelling of Charlie McDonald’s name.