Changing of the guard: Three councillors say goodbye

By Kaitlyn Clark
The Haldimand Press
HALDIMAND—The inaugural meeting of the new Haldimand County Council will take place December 3, 2018 with three new councillors joining the table. Their predecessors had their final Council meeting earlier this month and each took a moment to say goodbye to the role.
“First of all, I’d like to thank the residents of Ward 1 Haldimand County for electing me in 2006. It’s been a privilege for me to serve for the last 12 years,” said Leroy Bartlett. “I started doing community work in 1973 and it’s finished now, so I’ve done it for 45 years. It’s time for somebody else to take over.”
Fred Morison of Ward 2 was first elected in 2010. He said at the meeting: “It has been a lot of fun actually. Surprising as it may be, I actually looked forward to coming to Council … It’s been a good eight years, been a fast one, but it’s time to move on.”
He added in a statement, “Thank you for the opportunity to serve the county for eight years.”
Craig Grice of Ward 3 said, “I wish I didn’t have to make the speech that I am, and I debated whether I would say anything at all. First, I have to thank staff. It’s been a great pleasure to be part of the County, to work with you.”
“It’s been a learning experience and it’s been a very trying experience. In ’06 I took over a seat from a very well-known and very prudent councillor,” continued Grice, noting those first four years were the most difficult, having to keep Caledonia in a positive light despite the unrest at the time. “I think the more you reach out for a positive, the more one grows. I know that Haldimand and Caledonia grew because of it … When someone or some community can stand up and say we’re going to persevere and we’re going to move forward, that’s how you build communities.”
All three former councillors spoke fondly of their time with Council. Bartlett said, “This here Council has been the most functional Council that I’ve served on. We’ve worked hard, worked well together, done a lot of heavy lifting and I think now for the next Council going forward it will be significantly easier for you to do your job than when I was elected in 2006. The distance this County has come forward in the last 10 or 12 years has been remarkable, especially the last eight.”
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