New year, new wardens taking helm in local communities

By: Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press
Two Southwestern Ontario counties will welcome new wardens in 2022.
In Middlesex County, the largely rural region that wraps around London, councillors recently elected Thames Centre Mayor Alison Warwick as warden.
“Thank you to my colleagues for this vote of confidence. I am honoured to represent the residents of Middlesex County as warden,” she said in a release.
“I am looking forward to moving Middlesex County forward in all areas, with a special focus on community and regional transit, rural broadband and rural education,” she said.
The warden heads county council for a one-year term and serves as the region’s public face locally and provincially.
Warwick succeeds two-term warden Cathy Burghardt-Jesson, mayor of Lucan-Biddulph, who has been in municipal government since 2014.
In Elgin County, which takes in seven municipalities south of London, Aylmer Mayor Mary French was elected warden over previous warden Tom Marks, Central Elgin’s deputy mayor, and Robert (Bob) Purcell, mayor of Dutton Dunwich.
Call her election “humbling,” French thanked councillors for their support. In a release, she looked forward to doing “great things for our community this year,” such as improving economic development, continuing work for a long-term care project and advancing discussions about rural housing and homelessness.