Tecumseh Mayor McNamara elected Essex County Warden, promises cooperation

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Windsor Star/Dalson Chen




Essex County has a new warden — the longtime mayor of Tecumseh.

Gary McNamara was elected to the warden role on Wednesday night at the inaugural meeting of Essex County Council — replacing outgoing warden Tom Bain, who has held the position since 2010.

“Essex County is in an excellent position thanks to the hard work of the previous council and I’m keen to keep the momentum going,” McNamara said in a council news release.

It’s the first time McNamara will serve as Essex County warden — although he’s had terms as deputy warden from 2000 to 2003 and from 2010 to 2014.

Contacted Thursday, McNamara said he intends to continue to build “a strong relationship” with the City of Windsor, as well as the region of Chatham-Kent and the provincial and federal governments.

“I think it’s important for the region that, collectively, we work ‘hand-in-glove’ for our citizens,” McNamara said.

“There’s no question that in the next four years, we’re in exciting times.”

Among the projects McNamara is anticipating: completion of a “road needs” study; progress in nearly $400 million worth of county road improvements; continued development of a county-wide active transportation network, and construction of a regional “mega-hospital.”

“That’s one of the big ones. We’ve got to get that mega-hospital built,” McNamara said.

As for the long-running debate over the location of the mega-hospital, McNamara said he considers that matter “settled.”

“We want to make sure we don’t lose our spot in the queue,” McNamara said. “This is something that our region not only needs, but deserves.”

“The point here is we should rally to make sure that it’s built. Our residents in the county are contributing $100 million — hard-earned tax dollars — to make that hospital a reality.”

“I think it’s ridiculous to argue if it should be here or there. I firmly believe the decision was made through the work of the site selection committee — Let’s move on.”

McNamara has been a Tecumseh resident since 1981. His long career in municipal politics dates back to 1991, when he was first elected to Tecumseh’s town council.

He became mayor of Tecumseh in 2003, and was acclaimed to his fifth mayoral term in October. has been a Tecumseh resident since 1981.

At Wednesday night’s meeting, Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos — who initially also sought to be warden — was acclaimed to the role of deputy warden.

Outgoing warden Bain will continue to be a member of Essex County Council as Mayor of Lakeshore.

The first regular meeting of county council has been scheduled for Dec. 19.