Tarnowski appointed as New Mayor of Russell

By Gabrielle Vinette
Tarnowski appointed as New Mayor of Russell
During the Russell Council meeting on April 29, 2024, Council voted to appoint Councillor Mike Tarnowski to the position of mayor for the remainder of the 2022-2026 term ending November 14, 2026. (Photo : Mike Tarnowski, LinkedIn)

Mike Tarnowski, appointed Mayor of Russell, effective May 27, is committed to “work like hell” to ensure the community continues to develop well with the big projects he envisions for the future. 

During their April 29 meeting, Russel council voted to appoint the councillor as mayor for the remainder of the 2022-2026 term ending November 14, 2026. 

Tarnowski has a history with the Russell community before becoming a councillor. He served as a member of the Township’s Parks, Recreation, and Culture Advisory Committee from 2002 to 2006 and as a member of the Russell Township Library Board from 2010 to 2018, as well as holding the role of board chair between 2014 to 2018. 

Currently, he is a career educator as the academic chair with the School of Business and Hospitality at Algonquin College. He holds an MBA from the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics at the University of Guelph. 

“I’ve got big shoes to fill,” said Mike Tarnowski. “Mayor Leroux has done a great job for us, and we want to keep going forward with the direction we’ve taken.” 

As of April 19, the office of the Mayor of the Township of Russell was declared vacant, after Pierre Leroux stepped down to take on the chief administration officer (CAO) role at The Nation. 

“We are confident that, as Mayor, Councillor Tarnowski will continue to lead our community with vision,” stated the CAO of Russell, Richard Godin. “His demonstrated commitment aligns perfectly with our strategic goals, building on our legacy of a connected and sustainable community.” 

The Mayor’s Declaration of Office and Oath of Allegiance will take place at the council meeting scheduled for May 27. Until then, councillor Jamie Laurin will continue his duties as Acting Mayor. 

The councillor’s seat will be declared vacant, and council will have 60 days from that date to decide who will fill Tarnowski’s seat, either by appointment or with a by-election. 

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