By Chad Ingram
Published June 15 2017
The title of the head of AlgonquinHighlands council will change from “reeve” to “mayor” nextmonth.
Councillors for the township discussedthe change during their June 15 meeting.
Chief administrative officer Angie Birdsaid the move was “getting up into the current century really iswhat it is."
Council had bandied around the idea ofa title change back in 2013 and there was some discussion of theconcept during an upper-tier meeting of Haliburton County councillast year.
The change will make AlgonquinHighlands township the first of the county's four lower-tiermunicipalities to replace its “reeve” with a “mayor.”
The term “reeve” dates backcenturies and initially referred to the leaders of rural communitiesin England.
A number of townships in the vicinityof the county have adopted the “mayor” title including Lake ofBays the Town of Bancroft and the Municipality of HastingsHighlands.
Reeve Carol Moffatt said that whilecouncillors in the county have talked about changing the name ofcouncil heads in the past “then no one does. So we thought we'dtake the bull by the horns.”
“People really don't know anymore what a reeve is” said Deputy-reeve Liz Danielsen adding thatsome people think it means a mayor in training. “I just think weshould do it and let the other municipalities in the county know wehave taken that step.”
The title of “deputy-reeve” willaccordingly change to “deputy-mayor.”
Councillor Marlene Kyle asked if councils ofthe county's other lower tiers were considering the same change.
“They all are” said Moffatt.
Kyle asked if it would make more senseto wait to initiate the title change until the beginning of the nextcouncil term which will be late 2018.
“I would just do it now” Moffattsaid.
Staff will draft a bylaw for the namechange that is scheduled to be passed at council's July meeting.
“Algonquin Highlands leads the wayonce again” Moffatt said.
Algonquin Highlands has the smallestpopulation of the county's four lower-tier municipalities atapproximately 2200 year-round residents.