Mayor Lowry with her parents

Mississippi Mills mayor Christa Lowry was sworn in as Lanark County’s 2021 warden at the inaugural meeting on Wednesday afternoon. Councillors attended an in-person meeting with safety provisions for COVID-19 in place to allow them to vote by secret ballot.

Lowry was nominated by Councillor Rickey Minnille (Mississippi Mills Deputy Mayor), who said he does not take making the nomination lightly. He said Lowry has made her four-year term a full-time commitment and highlighted her energy and involvement. “The experience she gets now will definitely help her and the county in the future.” He described Lowry as an educated, hard worker who is very professional and has compassion and understanding of government. “She has deep roots in the municipality and handles herself in every situation with respect for others, but firm conviction.”

Her seconder, Councillor John Fenik (Perth Mayor), detailed Lowry’s extensive involvement in local committees and boards, as well as on the provincial stage as a director for the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Rural Ontario Municipal Association. “She celebrates the successes in her community, shares information in a timely manner and is a real leader. She takes initiative, works hard, is a quick study and has drive and commitment. You will always know what is going on if she is warden.”

Mayor Lowry with past warden, Brian Campbell. (Reeve Tay Valley)

Lowry thanked her supporters, Mississippi Mills Council and staff, as well as the other nominees: Councillor Peter McLaren (Lanark Highlands Reeve) and Councillor Klaas Van Der Meer (Montague Deputy Reeve). “I look forward to facing the challenges 2021 brings and to working with each one of you. She noted that although COVID-19 will continue to present challenges next year, there are many examples of how Lanark County has turned challenges into positives and will continue to do so.

“When I was elected as mayor two years ago, I dedicated myself to the position. I made a commitment to myself to take every opportunity to work hard, to get involved and to contribute. Thank you for the faith you have shown to let me do just that.”

Past Warden Brian Campbell (Tay Valley Reeve) thanked staff and his family for their support over the past year, particularly acknowledging the hard work of Lanark Lodge staff during the pandemic and their efforts to keep residents safe. Among many highlights for him were the opening of the Alameda in Mississippi Mills, the Warden’s Slow Roll fundraiser, efforts to move forward with broadband and cell expansion in eastern Ontario, improvements and partnerships related to county trails, and embarking on an ambitious climate change action plan including a dedicated position.

“The pandemic created new challenges. The way we have done business has changed dramatically around the world. This year has been an interesting and different one, and certainly not what I was expecting.”

Committee chairpersons, all of whom were acclaimed, were approved at the meeting as well, including Councillor Ray Scissons (Drummond/North Elmsley Deputy Reeve) for Community Services, Councillor Brian Campbell (Tay Valley Reeve) for Corporate Services, Councillor John Fenik (Perth Mayor) for Economic Development and Councillor Ed McPherson (Perth Deputy Mayor) for Public Works. Lowry also named a striking committee, which appoints members to various committees and boards. Council reconvenes Wednesday at 5 p.m. for its regular meeting.