Justice Richard Byers officiated at the swearing-in ceremony of Hastings County’s new warden Thursday. Justice Byers, who retires at the end of December reminisced about the times he had been at county council and pointed out it would be his second last official duty.
Hastings County’s Warden Rodney Cooney outlined a number of priorities coming up for 2017 during his first address to council.
Warden Cooney told the packed council room one of the major priorities of 2017 will be to reduce the ambulance response time in the county.
He said there will be a “full review of the options” and made reference to the response times in Centre Hastings which are higher than the municipality would like.
He said the paramedics answered 30,000 calls last year, a 10% increase over 2014.
Cooney said council will be receiving a consultant’s review of the county’s economic development plan early in the new year.
He also pointed to what he called “a tidal wave of retirements” among municipal employees coming up in the four years that must be dealt with.
Representatives of federal, provincial and municipal officials of the area were on hand to bring congratulations to the new warden and pledge to work with Hastings County council in the coming year.
Loyalist College President Ann Marie Vaughan paid tribute to the college’s “long positive relationship with Hastings county,” saying the college develops programs that have goals that are aligned with the county.