Headline News

Adams chosen as Hastings County’s first deputy warden

February 3, 2021

Feb. 3, 2021

By Mike Riley

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

At the Hastings County council meeting on Jan. 28, county councillor and Carlow Mayo Mayor Bonnie Adams was elected by council to be the county’s first deputy warden. Adams will fill in for Warden Rick Phillips at events when required and help him with his advocacy efforts with all levels of government. Hastings County councillor and Limerick Township Mayor Carl Stefanski was also in the running for the position. Adams will assume her duties as deputy warden right away, with a call scheduled with Phillips to discuss issues later on that day.

The creation of the deputy warden position was first proposed by Phillips at the June 16, 2020 online finance, property and personnel committee meeting. His rationale was the sheer number of requests he gets yearly to attend events across the county, like delegations to provincial committees and conferences, and that the deputy warden could attend some of these events in his place. The deputy warden will also assist Phillips in his advocacy efforts with local, provincial and federal officials.

The nominations for the position were put forth at the Jan. 19 finance, property and personnel committee meeting held by Zoom and on Facebook Live. Adams explained why she chose to run for the deputy warden position.

“At the conclusion of the 2018 election, nine new members of county council were elected. As one of the most experienced members of Hastings County council currently sitting, I was asked and allowed my name to be nominated for this new position. I will uphold the values of Hastings County as deputy warden if elected and I will strive to maintain the example that Warden Phillips has set before us. I would consider it a privilege to fill any absence or overlap in his duties,” she says.

Stefanski also spoke before the meeting about why he wanted to run for deputy warden.

“I was prompted to run for the position of deputy warden for a number of reasons but mainly to assist the warden with his heavy work load during this pandemic and moving forward will assist county council and the people of Hastings County in the north and south. Limerick Township is centrally located within North Hastings, which would allow me to readily address issues when called upon, and bring concerns to council in a timely manner,” he says.

At the Jan. 28 council meeting, Cathy Bradley, the clerk and corporate communications officer of Hastings County, introduced Adams and Stefanski as the two nominees and allowed them to give a five-minute speech to council. They did so, highlighting what they would bring to the role in terms of their accomplishments as mayor of their respective townships, their volunteerism within their communities and why they would be the best choice for deputy warden.

After Adams’ and Stefanski’s speeches were given, county council went into a private online room for 15 minutes to conduct the electronic vote. When they emerged, Adams was declared the new deputy warden by Bradley, who congratulated her, as did her opponent, Stefanski. Phillips congratulated Adams for her win and thanked Stefanski for putting his name forward so that council had a choice.

“In the future, I’m sure there will be ample opportunity for both of you and others to advance or try to advance,” he said.

Phillips then invited Adams to say a few words. She thanked council for their confidence in her and for electing her to the position of deputy warden, and Stefanski for allowing his nomination for the election.

“I don’t take this position lightly and I will work with Warden Phillips to continue to uphold the values of Hastings County with integrity and honesty. Every councillor here today had dedicated themselves to the betterment of their own municipalities and also for Hastings County. I am very humbled to be able to assist Warden Phillips over the next two years while working to continue to provide much needed services for all our residents,” she says.

Adams went on to say that she considers members of county council a family, a partnership and a group of people that just want their communities to thrive and be sustainable, a goal that she shares. She also thanked county staff for their assistance and for everything they do for the council every day.

“Finally, again county councillors, thank you for this wonderful opportunity to elect me for the position of deputy warden of Hastings County. I appreciate your support!”



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