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December 2014 Holiday Greetings

On behalf of County Council, I would like to extend a warm season's greetings to the wonderful residents of Simcoe County. The holiday season is a special time of year, where we give thanks to those closest to us, share in the joy of the year that was, and most importantly, offer generosity to those in need in our communities.

I recently participated in a local food bank's Eat the Math program. This was an eye-opening experience for me and certainly emphasized the need to ensure families across our region receive the proper nutritional food they require—not just during the holidays, but year-round.

I personally encourage everyone to donate whatever is possible to our local food banks. If you're fortunate enough to have the financial flexibility, please consider the quality and nutritional value of the food you are donating. This food directly nurtures the most vulnerable individuals in our communities.

As you may know, I was recently elected to serve as Simcoe County Warden for 2015 and 2016. I am humbled by this tremendous honour and I thank my fellow Councillors for demonstrating their confidence in my leadership. I look forward to working with Council and County staff to serve our residents with responsible governing and strategic direction.

I'm extremely proud to call Simcoe County my home. It is a beautiful region that provides tremendous opportunity for residents, visitors and businesses, and offers diversity in culture, economy and habitat.

We face many opportunities and challenges over the coming years. Working with Council and County staff, I have committed to address these issues with my full attention and through a transparent, open process that fosters co-operation with all our area partners.

Some of my initial priorities are to work with Council to enhance the County's role in economic development throughout our vast region, and improve our governance structure to ensure we have processes in place that meet the needs of our residents and member municipalities.

There is also work to be done within social services to meet the needs of families in our communities, we must develop strategies to address our aging population, find solutions to protect our environment for future generations, and work together to enhance our regional infrastructure—all while operating efficiently and responsibly by cutting unnecessary expenses. As County Council, it is also our responsibility to push forward effective strategies that previous Councils have endorsed.

These are just some of the areas County Council and County staff will focus on over the next two years. Ultimately, our main priority is you—the great people of Simcoe County.

Be assured, I do not take the Warden's positon or the challenges that face us lightly. I look forward to working with and for all of you over the next two years for the greater good of Simcoe County.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Sincerely,

Gerry Marshall
Simcoe County Warden