8:30 a.m., May 23)
council rejects motion to examine ward reductions
By Fred Sherwin
won't be any changes to the city's electoral map before
the next municipal election thanks to city council's decision
to reject a motion put forward by Mayor Jim Watson that
would have reduced their numbers by four to seven members.
wanted staff to start examining the possibility of reducing
the number of councillors before the next election in
October 2014. In order to put his motion n the table he
had to first get council to agree to wave their procedures,
which they did by a vote of 18-6. But when it came time
to vote on whether an actually review should took place,
only eight councillors supported the Mayor.
arguments were presented against a review including that
it would likely be divisive and that the current council
had enough on its plate with the Light Rail project likely
to take up the majority of their energies over the next
two to three years.
Ward Coun. Bob Monette voted in favour of a review as
did Cumberland Ward Coun. Stephen Blais who made it one
of his campaign planks.
supported the review, which would have cost an estimated
$250,000, because of the opportunity it would have presented
in providing residents with more information on the subject.
not going to vote against getting more information to
the table, said Monette.
city currently has 23 wards with an average of 38,000
residents per ward. Orleans Ward has a higher than average
population with almost 50,000 residents, Cumberland Ward
has 41,000 residents and is growing every year as develop.m.ent
moves further south, and Innes Ward has 38,000 residents.
comparison, Edmonton, with only 12 wards, has an average
of 67,500 residents per ward, while London, with 13 wards,
has an average of 28,165 residents per ward.
city is already planning to do a ward boundary review
main purpose to conduct a boundary review sooner rather
than later was to save money by reducing the number of
councillors and corresponding office budgets. But others
have argued that such a result may not be the case, especially
if you increase the size of each ward by 50 to 60 per
is a tipping point at which the sheer number of residents
in each ward would require additional resources in order
to provide a level of representation constituents have
come to expect.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business
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