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New Centre Wellington mayor calls for 'mutual respect' on council

Centre Wellington council ready to get down to business as new council sworn and affirmed in
Lawyer Eric Davis places chain of office around mayor Shawn Watters' neck.

ELORA — New Centre Wellington mayor Shawn Watters called for council to show 'mutual respect' in his inaugural address on Monday night.

At the inaugural meeting of the new Centre Wellington council, councillors were sworn or affirmed, Watters was affirmed, received the chain of office and made his inaugural address to members of council, staff, an in person audience of an estimated 50 people, plus others watching online.

Watters offered words of support and guidance to his fellow members of council.

“Remember, you are not an island.

“These are challenging times and they will test your mettle as a council as we move forward. Mutual respect, listening to one another and being supportive of each other are keys to building a team that will be able to meet these challenges," Watters said.

Watters also asked for patience from the public.

“I also ask the public to be patient as we navigate this new council and settle in and develop good understanding of our new roles and responsibilities.”

Watters outlined a list of major challenges that the council will face in this term.

“As we move forward as a councillor challenges will include some of the following, managing our growth targets and working toward an attainable housing strategy, planning a sustainable, healthy and livable community, providing cost effective infrastructure which is timely and highlights our roads and bridge network.”

He began his inaugural address by thanking his supporters, especially his wife Deb.

“I’d like to thank the support of my friends and families and I want to especially acknowledge Deb, whose love and guidance has made me a better person. I love you Deb,” Watters said, before congratulating other councillors.

“My congratulations to you all. You are now sitting around this horseshoe. I’m immensely proud of your past community involvement and so pleased that you have found your way to this newly elected member of this constituted council. You should be very proud.”

Jesse Gault is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.