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County Council elects Basil Clarke as County of Simcoe Warden

Midhurst/December 13, 2022 – Today, County Council elected Basil Clarke, Mayor of Ramara, as the new County of Simcoe Warden for 2023 and 2024.

“It is a true honour to be elected to serve as Warden for the next two years, and I thank my fellow County Councillors for their support,” said Warden Clarke. “I know from my own experience at the County level that we face many challenges in the years ahead, but challenges often lead to opportunities, especially in a region as vibrant as Simcoe County. Opportunities that can advance our economy, enhance our infrastructure and further assist our residents and businesses. I look forward to serving and visiting communities across our great region over the next two years.”

Warden Clarke

With 22 years of municipal leadership experience, Clarke was first elected as a Ramara Township Councillor in 2000, Deputy Mayor in 2006 and 2010, and as Mayor in 2014, 2018 and 2022. Entering his fifth term as a County of Simcoe Councillor, Clarke has chaired the County’s Performance Management, Food and Agriculture Charter, and Economic Development Committees. Basil Clarke is a cash crop​ farmer and his family previously ran a small retail business, supplying services to his region and adding to the Canadian agricultural supply. Clarke and his wife, Carey, have been married for over 33 years and have three grown children and two young grandchildren.

Joining Clarke in the leadership of the County of Simcoe is Jennifer Coughlin, who was elected as Deputy Warden. Coughlin was elected as Mayor of Springwater Township in 2022, after serving as Councillor and Deputy Mayor in 2014 and 2018, respectively. As a County of Simcoe Councillor since 2018, Coughlin has served as Chair of the County’s Bursary Committee and Vice Chair of the County’s Human Services, Governance, and Grant Task Force Committees, and as Vice Chair of the Simcoe County Housing Corporation Board.

Deputy Warden Coughlin

Prior to her entry into politics, Coughlin worked as an Early Childhood Educator and teacher, and remains a supply teacher with the Simcoe Muskoka District Catholic School Board. A resident of Anten Mills (Springwater Township), Coughlin and her husband, Mark, are proudly raising their three daughters and run a family masonry business.

At its 175th Inaugural Ceremony, the County of Simcoe was proud to swear-in the 2022-2026 County Council. County Council works to ensure Simcoe County residents have access to high-quality, critical governmental services through the County.

​Elected as the County’s Business Section Chairs and Vice Chairs for 2023 and 2024 are:

  • Performance Management
    • Chair: Judith Cox
    • Vice Chair: David Evans
  • Human Services
    • Chair: James Leduc
    • Vice Chair: Sandie Macdonald
  • Corporate Services
    • Chair: Lynn Dollin
    • Vice Chair: Doug Measures

Composed of sixteen member municipalities and two separated cities, County Council is comprised the mayors and deputy mayors of each township located within Simcoe County. Representatives from the separated cities sit on the Human Services Business Section of Council Committee of the Whole. As an “upper tier” municipality, the County of Simcoe is responsible for a range of municipal services including social/affordable housing, homelessness prevention, land ambulance and emergency planning, environmental services (solid waste management), a County road system, Ontario Works, children’s services, long-term care and seniors services, LINX Transit, museum, support for newcomers, archives, forests, tourism, economic development, and management of the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport, among other services and programs.

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Andrea Walasek
Public Relations Consultant
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Department
249-535-3511 (mobile)​

Collin Matanowitsch
Manager, Public Relations
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Department
705-734-8386 (mobile)