Brian Milne acclaimed as Grey County Warden

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Grey County Warden Brian Milne shakes hands with County Clerk Tara Warder following the Inaugural Session of Grey County Council on December 5, 2023.

 

Brian Milne has been acclaimed to a second straight year in the Grey County Warden’s seat.

Milne was acclaimed by Grey County Council at the annual inaugural meeting on December 5.

This will be Warden Milne’s third term as Warden, first serving in 2014, then again in 2023.

In his inaugural address, Warden Milne looked forward to the year ahead and spoke about working with Council, community partners, and staff to build community in Grey County. 

“I am honoured to continue as Grey County Warden. Everyone here is engaged and focused on the tasks at hand. I truly believe are committed to building our communities to be the best they can be. Let’s get to it,” he stated in his inaugural address.

Warden Milne also spoke about the importance of delivering services and focusing on corporate strategic priorities during a challenging budget process, highlighting one of the four themes identified in the corporate strategic plan update.

“Grey Council will make decisions and take actions that consider the long-term social, natural and fiscal sustainability of our communities,” said Warden Milne. “We as community builders need to seek out what our residents and visitors require and then set a plan to provide those requirements in a fiscal manner that is affordable.”

Warden Milne represents the Township of Southgate on Grey County Council where he also serves as Mayor. He was first elected to Southgate Council in 2003. In addition to his municipal roles, Milne is a member of the Egremont Optimist Club and sits on the board of the North Wellington Health Care Alliance. Outside of municipal life, Milne is a fourth generation Grey County farmer. He enjoys spending time with his wife Debbie, their three children and four grandchildren.

The election of the Warden takes place each December at the inaugural session. Grey County Council elects one member to lead the County for the upcoming year. Warden Milne was nominated for the position by Grey County Councillors Andrea Matrosovs and Peter Bordignon.

Paul McQueen will continue to serve as Grey County’s Deputy Warden in 2024.

The Warden’s Inaugural address can be found in its entirety on the Grey County website www.Grey.ca.

For more information contact Grey County at communications@grey.ca.


Brian Milne’s 2024 Inaugural Address

Madame Clerk, County Councillors and County staff, former wardens, members of the press, ladies and gentlemen. 

To my fellow county councillors, thank you for the opportunity to lead this Council for the next year. It is an honour to be named Warden of Grey County. Thank you to Councillor Matrosovs for nominating me and to Councillor Bordignon for seconding that nomination. The Town of The Blue rocks! 

One of the four themes of the recently updated strategic plan for Grey County is “building communities for the future”. In part it states that “Grey County Council will make decisions and take actions that consider the long term social, natural and fiscal sustainability of our communities”. A lofty goal indeed! 

I recall a number of years ago hearing a councillor saying that the budget process was an eternal struggle to find an acceptable percentage tax increase. Looking through the other themes of the strategic plan and the various priority actions, nowhere does it refer to maintaining an acceptable percentage tax increase. 

No, it speaks, among other things, about building Grey County, telling our story, planning and building infrastructure, taking action on climate change and, my favourite, working collaboratively with member municipalities. These are the actions of a council committed to building a community.  A community that has a place for everyone. A community that everyone feels safe in and can participate in.  

These are not the identified actions of any council, but of this Council.  

Now, none of this is to suggest we just keep increasing budgets because we can. So, let’s go back to that “acceptable percentage tax increase”. What is it? Is it zero percent? Is it one, two, eight, twelve percent? Or more? My point here is this. A number is just that, a number. We, as community builders, need to seek out what our residents and visitors require and then figure out how to provide those requirements in a fiscal manner that is affordable.  

Never mind what the percentage is.  

Here in Grey County, and that includes at our member municipalities, we are blessed to have some of the best municipal staff in Ontario. With their considerable expertise they will help guide us in any number of issues not least of which is achieving that elusive affordable budget! 

We need to be tireless advocates for Grey County. That includes holding other levels of government accountable. We must challenge when necessary. As Warden I will do that whether it is as a member of the Western Ontario Wardens Caucus, at Queens Park or at Parliament Hill.

My experience as Warden during the past year is that this Council is up to the challenge. This Council understands the importance of working together. Working together includes not just everyone around this table but includes our community building partners and there are many.  

One example, to pick from many, is Georgian College. The work being done at the college to address the changes in the labour market is exceptional. The degree in nursing program, learn and stay, support for skilled trades and training the mariners of tomorrow is exciting stuff.  

Strong relationships with and support of our community partners, including First Nations, is having a real and positive impact on everyone’s success.  

Everyone here is engaged and focused on the task at hand and I truly believe is committed to building our communities to be the best they can be. Let’s get to it! 

Together we are stronger, and together, we will build our communities for the future. 

Thank you. 

Miigwetch. 

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