“Together we can certainly do great things,” said Dave Burton after he was sworn in as Highlands East mayor Nov. 15.

Burton, entering his fifth term on council, laid out his priorities for a “term of action.” He said he’s intent on seeing the township’s strategic plan updated, creating a trails master plan and even building a new municipal office “that will meet today’s needs and put staff under one roof.” He added that “multiple municipal buildings will then become vacant and they could be available to convert into housing units. This is a project that will benefit Highlands East immensely.”

The new council, meeting in-person for the first time since 2020, also nominated coun. Cec Ryall as deputy mayor.

“For a guy like me who normally has a lot to say, I’m actually speechless and I thank you a ton,” Ryall said.

Councillors also had the chance to speak on their priorities for the term ahead.

Coun. Cam McKenzie said he was keen to “get back on track with an updated strategic plan” and focus on bolstering the ranks of the township’s fire halls. “Fire services need personnel,” he said. “Equipment and facilities do not respond to emergencies.”

Coun. Ruth Strong said, “I will do my very best to represent ward 4 to the best of my abilities.”

Burton and the rest of council also welcomed first-time ward 2 councillor Angela Lewis.

“I look forward to working with you and hearing your thoughts and opinions,” Ryall said.

Lewis said she looks forward to, “collaborating with council, mayor Dave Burton and all the officials in the municipality.”

Highlands East’s first regular meeting of council is scheduled for Nov. 22.