Warden Kirby hands off the gavel


“It was a great year,” Kirby said during an interview following the end of the last November Wednesday council session. One of the highlights, he noted, was being able to provide each member municipal- ity of United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) with some extra money for their own budgets with the cancellation of the ecoLarose project. The counties had set aside in a special re- serve fund $2million as its share for the eco- Larose project, on the assumption that the federal and provincial governments would partner with the UCPR on the proposed natural history research and interpretive centre and conference hall. When both se- nior levels of government in the end passed on the opportunity, the counties council

Before he signed off on the last bit of pape- rwork he will have to do this year as warden for the United Counties of Prescott-Russell, Robert Kirby had a few thank-yous to pass on to his fellow mayors and the counties staff. «I couldn’t have done it without you,» he said, before adjourning the Nov. 25 regular session of council. Next month during an evening inaugura- tion ceremony for the 2016 counties council, Kirby will hand over the warden’s gavel, chain of office, and duties to his successor for next year, Mayor Guy Desjardins of the City of Clarence-Rockland.

Robert Kirby signs off the last documents that will need his signature as warden of the United Counties of Prescott-Russell. The mayor of East Hawkesbury Township’s last official warden duty will be to hand over the chain of office and gavel to his successor, Mayor Guy Desjardins of Clarence-Rockland, during the mid-December inaugural meeting for the 2016 counties council.

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decided against returning the $2 million to the UCPR’s capital reserve, and voted instead to redistribute the money among the eight municipalities for use on their infrastructure and other needs.

“A lot of the municipalities are having a hard time,” Kirby said. Kirby will resume his seat on counties council as the mayoral representative for East Hawkesbury Township.

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OPP to enhance RIDE campaign efforts

The Hawkesbury Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will be enhancing its RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) campaign efforts on our highways and local roadways for the next 5 weeks. December and early January brings nu- merous occasions for friends, families and colleagues to get together and enjoy the holiday season.Therefore, the Hawkesbury OPP detachment is reminding motorists that there will be a visible increase of OPP officers as they focus their efforts to track downmotorists who place everyone’s safety at risk by drinking and driving on our roads and highways. From January to October 2015, the num- ber of alcohol involved occurrences is up three per cent over the same period last year. As of November 15, of the 258 persons killed during that time period, 35 fatalities were attributed to alcohol consumption.Thirteen people died when their off-road vehicle was involved in a collision; six of those people had been impaired by alcohol. The OPP is reminding the public that drivers who have a blood alcohol concen-

tration over 80 milligrams or who fail or refuse to comply with a demand to provide a breath sample will have their driver’s licence immediately suspended and their vehicles impounded for seven days regardless if they own the vehicle or not. In addition, drivers under 22 years of age, regardless of the class of licence they have, must have a zero alcohol level or their licence will be suspended on the spot. Police have seen the number of occur- rences of drug impaired driving rise inOnta- rio over the past year. Police are reminding the public during this Festive RIDE cam- paign that the OPP now has drug recognition officers with specialized training to identify drug impaired drivers. The OPP also has a significant number of officers who conduct standardized field sobriety tests on drivers who give police a reasonable suspicion of impairment by drugs. Police are asking the public to call 9-1-1 if they suspect any impaired driving or if they see someone who gets behind the wheel after they have been drinking.

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Upper Canada district in the black The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) trustees had a good news report to review during their Nov. 11 evening session. The auditor’s report for the 2014-2015 fiscal year shows everything “in the black” and meeting all provincial education ministry standards for balanced budgeting. In a press release UCDSB Chairman Jeff McMillan credited board and staff focus on fiscal responsibility while also keeping the safety and needs of students as a priority. – Gregg Chamberlain

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