By Chad Ingram
Published July 20 2017
The title of the head of council in theTownship of Algonquin Highlands is no longer “reeve” but “mayor.”
Councillors had voted at their June meetingthat a bylaw enacting the name change be drawn up and passed that bylaw duringtheir meeting on Thursday July 20.
Councillors agreed that “mayor” is a moremodern easily recognizable term than “reeve” which is a centuries' oldEnglish term.
During last month's meeting CouncillorMarlene Kyle had suggested it would make more sense to enact the new title atthe beginning of the next council term which will be in late 2018 and also todiscuss making the change in concert with the county's three other lower-tiertownships which also employ the traditional rural title of “reeve.”
“I'm still going back to my originalthoughts on this” Kyle said. “I do have concerns with the timing. I do thinkwe should do it at the beginning of the next term.”
Kyle also pointed out there would be asmall unbudgeted expense with the change as business cards letterheadsplacards etc. for the reeve and deputy-reeve will be changed to read “mayor”and “deputy-mayor.”
“You already voted in favour of it” saidnow-Mayor Carol Moffatt referring to the unanimous decision council had hadmade at its June meeting.
Deputy-mayor Liz Danielsen said to her itwas simply a housekeeping matter and one that was not really the business ofthe other three lower-tier municipalities.
The concept of changing the title has been talkedabout at the Algonquin Highlands council table and at the table of theupper-tier Haliburton County council for a number of years.
“I personally felt it's something thiscouncil should do in advance of another council coming into place” Danielsen saidadding the county's other lower-tier councils knew the step Algonquin Highlandscouncil was taking.
“To be very clear this is not about me”said Moffatt adding that Danielsen had requested the item be placed on theagenda. “It doesn't matter to me whether it happens today or at the beginningof the next calendar year.”
Moffatt added that of the 13 municipalitiesthat comprise the Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus of which Haliburton Countyis part 10 of them use the term “mayor.”
A number of other small municipalitiessurrounding Haliburton County that once used the term “reeve” have alsoswitched to “mayor” over time.
“It shouldn't be as big a deal as somepeople want to make it into” Moffatt said.
Danielsen said she'd gotten much public feedbackon the change almost all of it positive.
Other members of council were supportive.
“I feel like it's been a discussion thelast two terms” said Councillor Lisa Barry. “Get on with it.”
“Let's do it” said Councillor Brian Lynch.
The resolution was passed with Kyle votingin opposition.