A longtime member of Hastings County, and a former warden a number of times, was elected warden during an inaugural session on Thursday.
Rick Phillips, the Reeve of Tyendinaga Township, takes over the role from outgoing warden Rodney Cooney.
In his inaugural address at the county building in Belleville, the new warden paid tribute to the partnerships with the surrounding municipalities and the work of that partnership in improving services, such as social services, emergency services, long term care and hi-speed internet.
Looking forward to 2019, Phillips said he would be working with municipal partners to cut the number of non-emergency calls for ambulances, since the primary function is emergency care.
The new warden said he is pleased with the provincial changes to regulations regarding Ontario Works and disabilities. Phillips said he is pleased with the idea of matching skills with those needed in the job market.
He agreed that the county had done well over the past few years providing 207 housing units, but said more needs to be done. Pointing to Home for Good housing project, with its many agency partners, Phillips said “it’s a model across Ontario.”
A number of Quinte area dignitaries offered congratulations and pointed to the shared services as well.