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Town meets and greets the mayor

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Conversations at the Mayor’s Levee in Tillsonburg Sunday afternoon varied from personal greetings to the occasional political question.

“A little mix of everything,” said Tillsonburg Mayor John Lessif. “There wasn’t a lot of discussion about town business, but there were a couple of very positive comments about our library and moving to the county library system. That was nice to hear – people are already noticing a difference.

“There was also a comment on snow removal and how things could maybe be improved in a couple areas. I think generally people were positive about the work council’s been doing.”

And, of course, best wishes were extended by most of the 40-50 people who attended.

“It’s a nice opportunity from my perspective as mayor to meet and greet residents who don’t have the opportunity to do so otherwise. And I think it’s also members of our community paying their respects for the ‘position’ of mayor.

“Those who attended had an opportunity to chat with myself and other councillors who attended,” said the mayor, who was joined Sunday by councillors Brian Stephenson and Dave Beres.

“It was very nice to see MP Dave MacKenzie drop by, MPP Ernie Hardeman also gave his regards, and the Mayor of South-West Oxford, David Mayberry, joined us.”

Sunday’s levee was hosted by the Tillsonburg and District Historical Society on the second floor of the Annandale National Historic Site, home of Tillsonburg’s first mayor, Edwin D. Tillson.

“I thank the Tillsonburg and District Historical Society for their role in putting this on and organizing it,” said Lessif. “I think they did a nice job in promoting it.”

Marion Pratt, secretary for the Tillsonburg and District Historical Society, said attendance was ‘par for the course,’ but she had hoped to see more people.

“I’m always disappointed more people won’t come,” said Pratt, who has helped organize many mayor’s levees over the years, “and I don’t understand why they won’t. We sent out an awful lot of invitations. Maybe there’s a misunderstanding, people think it’s only for the political types. It’s not. It helps the community get to know their mayor and councillors in a casual setting.

“Traditionally there aren’t any speeches, but people do ask questions. It’s a lot easier to do in a situation like this – ask questions – than to pick up a phone, much easier. And they do network, because I heard some of it today.”

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