In a unanimous decision, the South Bruce Peninsula Council has appointed Deputy Mayor Jay Kirkland to the position of Mayor, effective immediately. The appointment was officially confirmed during the Council meeting held on Tuesday, marking a new chapter in the town's leadership.
This appointment follows the resignation of Former Mayor Garry Michi in late August, who stepped down from office amidst controversy over an audio recording that raised concerns about his views on a critical water treatment plant project for a neighbouring first nation. The recording, uploaded to SoundCloud by a user under the pseudonym "SaubleSam," captured Michi questioning the financial prudence of building a water treatment plant for the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation along the Bruce Peninsula, a community that has been grappling with a boil water advisory since January 2019.
Jay Kirkland, has previously served three terms as a Councillor and three terms as Deputy Mayor, bringing a wealth of experience and a track record of sound decision-making to his new role as Mayor. Additionally, Kirkland is a local business owner, which further enhances his understanding of the community's needs and priorities.
"I would like to thank Council for having the confidence in me to lead the community," stated Jay Kirkland, emphasizing his commitment to fairness and fiscal responsibility. His appointment is seen as a positive step towards restoring a sense of stability and security within the municipality during this transitional period.
In light of Kirkland's promotion to Mayor, a report will be presented at an upcoming Council meeting to declare the Deputy Mayor's seat vacant. This report is expected to outline various options for filling the vacant seat and ensuring the continued effective functioning of South Bruce Peninsula's leadership team.