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Council divide on downsizing

Following last week’s council vote to reject the mayor’s plan for a downsized council (7 in favour, including the mayor, with 9 opposed) and new electoral boundaries, I looked for a pattern in the voting of the councillors.

Consider the “central” wards of Wellington, Bloomfield, Picton and Hallowell – mostly urban.  Five of six councillors voted in favour of the Mayor’s plan, and the one opposed is a former Athol councillor.  (mayor’s vote not included.)

Then consider the “outlying” wards of Ameliasburgh, Hillier, Athol, South Marysburgh, North Marysburgh and Sophiasburgh – all rural.  Only one of the nine councillors favoured the mayor’s plan, while eight were opposed.

So, councillors for the central / mostly urban wards were 83 per cent in favour of the Mayor’s plan, and those for the outlying / rural wards were 89 per cent opposed.  A very significant central vs outlying divide, and one that merits attention.

How to understand the result?  It could be that the councillors for the outlying wards were concerned about the adequacy of representation of the outlying areas in a downsized council.  And it’s possible that the councillors for the central wards were more confident of retaining elector support in a smaller council.

I think that council was much more focused on the question of downsizing than on the issue of reconfigured electoral wards.  Those who favoured downsizing found reasons to override citizen opposition to the proposed electoral wards, while those opposed relied to some extent on this opposition.

Gary Mooney
Hillier Ward

 

Filed Under: Letters and OpinionNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. Louise Donahue says:

    So much for citizen input! A few years ago, the PEC concerned citizens group submitted what seemed to be a viable solution to the “downsizing of council” fiasco. This took much time and expertise on their part but were
    disregarded by Council, i.e. they were kicked under the bus! I wondered at that time why so many councillors in the county when London, a city of 380,000 had the same no. or less! Oh well, no sense kicking a dead horse, it ain’t gonna move!

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