The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s new clerk, Ralph Walton, previously worked for the Region of Niagara and has owned a property in NOTL for many years.
“I had spent time down here with the region and I lived in old Niagara-on-the-Lake and I just grew to love it, everything about it,” Walton said in an interview.
“When the opportunity came up to come and work and also to live in the municipality, it was just something that was very appealing to me.”
Walton spent three years as the clerk for the region before moving on to Durham, where he spent five years as clerk and director of legislative services.
“It’s my second tour of duty (in Niagara), if you will,” Walton said.
Walton has more than 20 years of municipal governance experience.
“The look and feel of the town when you drive into it is wonderful. There’s lots of opportunities for hobbies — I like to ride by bike,” he said.
“It’s an amazing place. Just a gem.”
Walton said the historical aspects of NOTL are also an interest for him and he was recently out for a walk through Butler’s Burial Ground.
He also is a gardener and recently welcomed a labradoodle puppy into the household, his first dog.
“I spoke to him and I said, ‘Both of us are new at this and we’re both going to make mistakes,’ ” Walton said.
“That’s an awful lot of fun, getting out and taking him for walks around the neighbourhood.”
Walton said his first few weeks with the town have been positive.
“It’s been excellent. I’ve really enjoyed meeting all of my colleagues, meeting the council and the senior management team. Excellent people and very committed,” he said.
He gave kudos to Colleen Hutt who has been serving as acting clerk since Peter Todd was fired by the town last summer.
“She has just taken on the burden and I am just so impressed with her.”
Walton said beyond getting to know his team and the flow of the town he is looking forward to the return of the supper market at The Village, something he and his wife would routinely go to when he worked for the region.
“It was an awful lot of fun. You could go over there and meet people and have wonderful food,” he said.