Roger AndersonToday, friends and colleagues are joining Roger’s family to celebrate his life.  In addition to his twin boys, Warren and Ryan, his life was blessed with Riley, his most cherished one-year old granddaughter.  She could melt his heart in less than a second.  Thank you for sharing him with the rest of us.

Roger saw the bigger picture.  He knew that a ‘big’ voice could make the difference.  He wanted everyone to work together to make that voice heard. This is why he was so committed to AMO.

He was very involved in the Association long before becoming AMO President for two years starting in 2005. Roger was first elected to the AMO Board in 1991. Just think about the number of Board elections he went through during his 26 years of service. He knew how to get votes – mainly because people saw his commitment, his tenacity for getting things done.

Over the years, his knowledge of the province grew and grew.  He went to Pickle Lake to see its challenges first hand.  He learned that bridges in Kenora were big, and many, and just as essential there as bridges in Kawartha Lakes. He listened. He identified with big city and rural communities.  He knew both were important. Roger Anderson

He was not afraid to call a spade a spade, and at the same time, he could keep doors open.  His humour and humanity endeared him to many. The Ministers’ Forum at AMO’s conference is referred to as the bear pit session. While bears have been the topic from time to time, perhaps the bear pit reference is because of Roger’s tough questions. He spoke his mind. Watching him in meetings with Cabinet Ministers, no matter what the political stripe, was no less different.  Those meetings came with a bit of trepidation.  At the same time, you could count on his lack of tolerance for unclear answers. Roger was less than pleased when he did not get the answer he expected.

Roger always wanted to be prepared.  He did his homework. He did not like to see incomplete analysis of a problem or the options to fix it.  When he peered over his glasses, you knew that he found something to question. At AMO, we called it the “Roger factor”.  It made us better.
Roger Anderson
Roger served 20 years as Chair of Durham Region – the longest serving Chair. You can see a lot of his vision in the services that link  the region. He also served on the board of Federation of Canadian Municipalities, rising to be Vice-Chair of its Ontario Caucus. Through FCM, he shared his passion for municipal government with other parts of the world and had a particular connection with Ukraine.  Clearly many will miss him.

Roger’s approach was consistent no matter what Board he served on – he looked for solid policy positions, rooted in the practical every day experience of municipal government. He made all of us better for his involvement and his resolve to do his best for municipal governments and the communities they serve. 

Roger cannot be replaced.  We miss him terribly.  Roger – we thank you!