VIDEO: Windsor Council's New Term Officially Underway
The City of Windsor's new council for the 2018-2022 term has officially been sworn in.
The ceremony took place at the Chrysler Theatre Monday night where Mayor Drew Dilkens gave his inaugural address focusing on the General Motors plant closure in Oshawa and how a similar situation could impact Windsor if proper planning isn't done now.
Dilkens says continuing to diversify the community is a must.
"After I heard about the Oshawa plant closure, the question I asked myself was "What if that happened here?" and I know the answer would be devastating for my community. So I think, over the next four years, we have to check the things that we do, we have to make sure that everything we do is somehow leading to economic development to help diversify this economy and bring jobs here."
He says, with a solid local economy now, it's time to get ahead.
"The economy is doing so well, most people don't really think about that. Now is the time to do it because we know from history here that we will have peaks and valleys and we're on the peak right now, we will get back to the valley at some point and that's not the time to be starting to look to diversify. It's too late at that time. So we need to work to make sure that we're attracting as many businesses as we can here."
Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens at council's swearing in ceremony on December 3, 2018 (Photo by AM800's Zander Broeckel)
Dilkens says, new council or not, the goal remains the same.
"As we move forward and make decisions, sure we're going to have long meetings and heated debates about items of importance to each of us, but we need to make sure that we never lose sight, over the next four years, of the lens of economic development for this community because the prospect of what happened in Oshawa happening here, we need, as community leaders, to think about it and come up with solutions."
The incoming council has four new members including Ward 9's Kieran McKenzie who beat incumbent Hilary Payne.
He feels Windsor is in a good spot and needs to keep moving forward.
"We're in a strong position right now from an economic standpoint. Now is the time for us to fully leverage the opportunities that we're been able to create for ourselves with the sound fiscal management that we've seen in this community over the last number of years. Now is the time to start realizing some of the objectives that that discipline that given us the opportunity to have."
New Ward 9 councillor Kieran McKenzie at Windor City Council's swearing in ceremony on December 3, 2018 (Photo by AM800's Zander Broeckel)
McKenzie says it's important all council members be on the same page.
"We're going to be judged on our body of work as a whole, the entire council, and that means we've got to work together. I heard a lot of good things in the mayor's speech about the things that we need to do in order to work together to get to the places that we all need to be and to position Windsor for a bright and prosperous future and all I can say is I'm excited to do all of those things."
Other new members joining council include Fabio Costante in Ward 2, Gary Kaschak in Ward 8 and Jim Morrison in Ward 10.
Returning to the table are Dilkens, Fred Francis, Rino Bortolin, Chris Holt, Ed Sleiman, Joanne Gignac and Irek Kusmierczyk.
Windsor council's first regular meeting takes place December 17.