Mayor’s Levee rings in new year

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The Town of Tillsonburg is looking forward to what the next 12 months could bring while acknowledging the uncertainties that come with a new provincial government.

The annual Mayor’s Levee – hosted by the Tillsonburg and District Historical Society Sunday afternoon at Annandale National Historic Site – allowed locals and members of government an opportunity to reflect to the upcoming year in a relaxed setting outside of council chambers.

We’re starting a new four-year mandate with a new council. Anytime you’re out in a public in a positive setting, that’s important,” said Tillsonburg Mayor Stephen Molnar, thanking the organizers and hosts of the event.

The levee was one the first occasions the new council came together to meet the public as a single group while providing a forum for new ideas for the coming months.

Molnar said it’s essential for all groups, including municipal and provincial levels of government, to continue to work together since, ultimately, they have the same goals of helping communities thrive and prosper.

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We’re transitioning with a new provincial government and we have positive relationships with them. We’re a community that’s fiscally responsible and we’re not looking for handouts, but looking to be partners as we invest in what’s important for our citizens,” he said. “We’ll work in partnership with the county and the provincial government.

We don’t know everything behind the next door. You look forward to new relationships and strengthening existing ones, but there’s fiscal realities at the provincial level that may bring new challenges to municipalities. We need to be aware, but not afraid since we’re built on the people of our community.”

Earlier in 2018, the town’s Siemens wind turbine blade plant – a mainstay in the community that employed hundreds – closed its doors. Though a low point economically, Molnar said the town was bolstered by the addition of Titan Trailers’ new sub-assembly plant, as well as the continued growth of the local agri-food industry. Tillsonburg is also looking forward to the impending completion of a full-service 14-hectare (35-acre) municipally owned industrial park on Highway 3 near the shuttered Siemens plant, Molnar said.

Where a window closes one day, it opens the next. We’re fortunate to facilitate the arrival of Titan Trailer, who’s growing their footprint and chose their newest assembly investment in Tillsonburg. We’re seeing more investment into food and agri-food processing,” Molnar said.

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There’s a number of locally expanding industrial and commercial enterprises that have roots here we’re proud of,” he added.

Molnar also thanked the work of community sponsors and volunteers as well as the members of the government and emergency medical services like police, fire and rescue, public health and medical workers.

We’re looking forward to all that 2019 brings and with the right attitude and right amount of hard work when challenges come, challenges turn into opportunity,” he said. “There’s going to be challenges, but by doing things the way we’ve historically done them through partnership we’ll turn those challenges into opportunity rather quickly.”

gcolgan@postmedia.com

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