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Mayor’s levee outlines goals, honours long-serving Keith MacDonald

Keith MacDonald is greeted by Mayor Robert Quaiff and his wife Susan, while MacDonald's wife, Eleanor Lindsay, speaks with councillor Gord Fox.

Keith MacDonald is greeted by Mayor Robert Quaiff and his wife Susan, while MacDonald’s wife, Eleanor Lindsay, speaks with councillor Jim Dunlop.

Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff outlined goals and objectives for 2015 at his levee New Year’s Day at Macaulay Church in Picton, but as he and his new council move forward, they stopped to honour Keith MacDonald, one of the municipality’s longest serving politicians.

Kevin Gale presented a certificate of recognition from County Council recognizing and celebrating 45 years of dedicated public service, including three years as MPP for Prince Edward Lennox, as County warden, and more than 40 years as a councillor. Hallowell ward sees two new faces on council this term with Brad Nieman and former councillor Gord Fox elected, ending MacDonald’s reign.

“He’s an honest, reliable and good person, and beneath that firm handshake and gruff exterior is a kind man with a big heart,” said Gale.

MacDonald gave thanks to his wife Eleanor, a former Sophiasburgh councillor and the County's first female warden, and his extended families, the Ronans and the Lindsays.

MacDonald gave thanks to his wife Eleanor, a former Sophiasburgh councillor and the County’s first female warden, and his extended families, the Ronans and the Lindsays.

“This is a great honour and I do feel overwhelmed by this special recognition today,” said MacDonald, who gave thanks to his wife Eleanor, a former Sophiasburgh councillor and the County’s first female warden, and his extended families, the Ronans and the Lindsays.

“I have sincerely enjoyed representing Hallowell and the County of Prince Edward,” said MacDonald. “Forty years ago I started as Hallowell councillor. We met in the kitchen at John Mallory’s home and I always enjoyed when we had meetings there because his wife Mildred  was an excellent pastry cook. About 10 o’clock in the evening we shut everything down and everybody would have a coffee and a full go of pastry.”

Keith MacDonald and Eleanor Lindsay

Keith MacDonald and Eleanor Lindsay

To affirm how much MacDonald enjoyed being a councillor, he recalled coming back from hospital after surgery for a hockey injury, wearing a full leg cast to his hip and hobbling up to the second floor of Shire Hall for a day of important meetings.
“Another remembrance is when I was ejected from a council meeting on two occasions for debating too heartily over a certain issue. I know you find that hard to believe,” he chuckled.

“I realize the work will continue and it’s time for me to bite the bullet. The new councils are young and the computized times have changed things a lot. I will follow with great interest the deliberations,” said MacDonald. “I congratulate our new mayor Robert Quaiff and councillors who I know will serve us well.”

Mayor Quaiff had told guests it has been a “baptism by fire for this young council” with nine new councillors to the horseshoe. Since being elected in November they have been participating in various training sessions and early in December, conquered the budge.

“Prince Edward County Council adopted a draft budget for 2015 with a focus on maintaining service levels while minimizing the need to increase tax levies,” said Quaiff. “I am proud of the effort given by this council and can certainly predict good things from your new council on your behalf in 2015.”

Mayor Robert Quaiff

Mayor Robert Quaiff

On Wednesday, Jan 7 council will meet to discuss short-term and long-term priorities for the coming year as well as goals and priorities for the CAO.

The short-term list for discussion includes, but is not limited to, three things, said Quaiff.  “Building a cohesive council that respects the views and opinions of all and builds consensus through compromise and fairness to ratepayers in all areas of council; implement a code of conduct and address the size of council.

“Some long-term goals and objectives that we’re looking at is to achieve sustainable and cost-efficient development respecting the rural character of Prince Edward County; better co-ordinate with educational institutions like Queen’s University and Loyalist College with an aim of bringing satellite locations to the County; operate a more efficient building and planning department ; a complete review of water, wastewater department for efficiencies; complete support of our healthcare system and our new hospital.

Council will continue to work with our residents and obtain the input necessary to accomplish these priorities while demonstrating responsible and effective government. I invite you all to become active in protecting and enhancing the quality and uniqueness of our communities here in the County.”

Kevin Gale makes the presentation to Keith MacDonald.

Kevin Gale makes the presentation to Keith MacDonald. Mayor Robert Quaiff look on.

A good crowd attending the levee at Macaulay Church despite poor weather

A good crowd attending the levee at Macaulay Church despite poor weather

Guests had time to meet and speak with councillors.

Guests had time to meet and speak with councillors.

 

 

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  1. Jack Smith says:

    I am so glad that we have a new face on Council,Brad Nieman. It’s about time we got some young blood that knows what is going on wrong in this County. One thing is that we are losing is our young people, no good jobs to keep them here. I have lived in this County for 56 years, my parents did and so did theirs. One thing on my agenda is the High Cancer rate in certain parts of the County especially the West Lake Area where I grew up so I know the area and how it ran pretty good. There is one area that stretches where people have got cancer and died. I blame this and a lot of other people, I MEAN A LOT JUST NOT MYSELF OR THE AMOUNT OF PESTICIDES USED ON CROPS OVER THE YEARS. CROP DUSTING BY PLANES WAS ANOTHER FACTOR. WHERE DID ALL THIS GO AFTER A RAIN, RIGHT INTO THE STORM DRAINS ALONG WEST LAKE ROAD RIGHT OUT INTO WEST LAKE. THEN RIGHT INTO THE WATER TABLE. I have had relations of mine and friends that have lived in that area that have died of CANCER. One was my brother that died at a very early age. I think the Mayor and people on Council that got voted in should make this a priority for 2015. WestLake and surrounding area would be the last place I would want to retire. I am glad I moved.

  2. Snowman says:

    They don’t make them like Keith anymore! I’ve known him for almost 50 years. He took on everything at 100%. Sports, Farming, Politics, you name it, he did it. And he excelled at it, sometimes with less natural talent than his peers ,but with a drive and determination that few could match.
    Truly, one of Prince Edward County’s most accomplished native sons.

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