County Council is made up of all the Mayors and Deputy Mayors of all 16 member municipalities. The Warden is the head of government for the County and is elected by his or her peers on County Council. In 2010 County Council changed the County’s procedures to make the Office of Warden a two-year term. The warden is elected at an 'Inaugural Meeting' of County Council held in December in the first and the third years of every term of Council.
Some of the Warden's responsibilities include:
- presiding over and acting as Head of County Council
- speaking publicly on matters affecting the County of Simcoe
- serving on external boards and agencies
Warden Basil Clarke (Mayor of Ramara Township) was elected as Warden of the County of Simcoe on December 13, 2022:
County Council elected Basil Clarke, Mayor of Ramara, as the new County of Simcoe Warden for 2023 and 2024.
“It is a true honour to be elected to serve as Warden for the next two years, and I thank my fellow County Councillors for their support," said Warden Clarke. “I know from my own experience at the County level that we face many challenges in the years ahead, but challenges often lead to opportunities, especially in a region as vibrant as Simcoe County. Opportunities that can advance our economy, enhance our infrastructure and further assist our residents and businesses. I look forward to serving and visiting communities across our great region over the next two years."
With 22 years of municipal leadership experience, Clarke was first elected as a Ramara Township Councillor in 2000, Deputy Mayor in 2006 and 2010, and as Mayor in 2014, 2018 and 2022. Entering his fifth term as a County of Simcoe Councillor, Clarke has chaired the County's Performance Management, Food and Agriculture Charter, and Economic Development Committees. Basil Clarke is a dairy and livestock farmer and his family previously ran a small retail business, supplying services to his region and adding to the Canadian agricultural supply. Clarke and his wife, Carey, have been married for over 33 years and have three grown children and two young grandchildren.
Joining Clarke in the leadership of the County of Simcoe is Jennifer Coughlin, who was elected as Deputy Warden. Coughlin was elected as Mayor of Springwater Township in 2022, after serving as Councillor and Deputy Mayor in 2014 and 2018, respectively. As a County of Simcoe Councillor since 2018, Coughlin has served as Chair of the County's Bursary Committee and Vice Chair of the County's Human Services, Governance, and Grant Task Force Committees, and as Vice Chair of the Simcoe County Housing Corporation Board. Prior to her entry into politics, Coughlin worked as an Early Childhood Educator and teacher, and remains a supply teacher with the Simcoe Muskoka District Catholic School Board. A resident of Anten Mills (Springwater Township), Coughlin and her husband, Mark, are proudly raising their three daughters and run a family masonry business.
Warden Contact Information: