Thursday, March 23, 2023

North Kent Councillor Jamie McGrail elected to ROMA Board

A North Kent Councillor has been elected to the Board of Directors for the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA).

Jamie McGrail was elected as the representative for Zone 1 at the 2023 ROMA Conference, which was held in Toronto from January 22 to 24 and drew a record of more than 1,500 participants from across rural Ontario.

Jamie McGrail

“Excited to represent all Municipalities within Zone 1 of ROMA,” McGrail posted on social media.

“Let’s get to work!”

Zone 1 includes Chatham-Kent, Elgin County, Essex County, Lambton County and Middlesex County.

McGrail was joined at the ROMA Conference this year by fellow Councillors Michael Bondy, Amy Finn, Carmen McGregor and Aaron Hall.

ROMA officials say local priorities were raised with the provincial government, while ROMA officials fostered partnerships and learned about new opportunities.

Themed ‘Breaking New Ground’, the conference reflected ROMA’s advocacy work on priorities such as housing and economic growth.

The event featured dozens of speakers, sessions and workshops across a broad range of municipal responsibilities.

Members also elected their new zone representatives to the 2023-2027 ROMA Board – with more than 30 candidates running for 10 zone spots on the Board.

In addition to these elected zone representatives, the Board is also comprised of four members of the Rural Caucus of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO Board).

The newly formed Board also selected the Board Executive.

Mayor Robin Jones will return as Chair of the Board.

Returning Board members Mayor Christa Lowry and City of St. Thomas CAO Sandra Datars Bere were selected 1st Vice Chair and 2nd Vice Chair respectively.

Here is the full list of officials that were elected to be Zone Representatives on the ROMA Board:

Zone 1 – Jamie McGrail of Municipality of Chatham-Kent

Zone 2 – Steve McCabe of Township of Wellington North

Zone 3 – Dave Beres of Town of Tillsonburg

Zone 4 – Christina Early of Town of Caledon

Zone 5 – Pam Sayne of Minden Hills

Zone 6 – Jennifer Murphy of County of Renfrew

Zone 8 – Christa Lowry of Mississippi Mills (acclaimed, also serving as 1st Vice Chair)

Zone 9 – Mark Wilson of The Corporation of the City of Temiskaming Shores

Zone 10 – Janet Hager of Municipality of Red Lake

In addition to Jones and Datars Bere, Peter Emon of the Town of Renfrew and Rainey Weisler of the Municipality of Bayham also serve on the ROMA board as AMO Rural Caucus members.

The Zone 7 representative spot remains vacant and will be filled through a Board-approved process.

“We know our rural communities are full of promise and untapped potential, Jone said, in a media release.

“The conference showcased innovative ideas and solutions based on real-life experience that we could all takeaway to our communities. Our board represents a combination of new and returning members. We’re all looking forward to partnering with the Ontario Government and finding creative solutions that will suit the diversity of rural communities across our great province.”

ROMA officials added during the conference, Lisa Thompson, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs opened the next intake of the Rural Economic Development program.

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