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Council shortlists size proposals

County Council has a shortlist of ‘Size of Council Proposals’  following discussion and evaluation at a special committee of the whole meeting Thursday night.

The shortlist was established out of 18 options submitted from the public in response to council’s call for public suggestions and the option of maintaining the status quo.

“We are committed to involving the public in the Size of Council Review,” said Mayor Robert Quaiff. “We were pleased to receive so many responses to our request for public proposals.”

Proposed plans were evaluated in considering representation by population, voter parity (do all electors cast the same number of votes regardless of the ward in which they reside?), and the utilization of  natural and physical boundaries.

Shortlisted proposals include:
– Status Quo – 15 councillors plus mayor and 10 electoral wards
– Plan for 10 councillors plus mayor with current electoral wards and weighted voting (Angus Ross)
– The N.E.W. Plan with three electorial wards (Gary Mooney) which options nine councillors and mayor; 12 councillors and mayor or 15 councillors and mayor
– Plan 13 proposal of 13 councillors, plus mayor with nine electoral wards (John Thompson).

At a July 16 Committee of the Whole meeting, council plans to identify preferred proposals to bring forward at nine public consultation meetings to be held in the fall.  Surveys will also be utilized to determine public opinion. The target date for results of public consultation is Oct. 29 with confirmation of a decision expected to take place at the Nov. 12 meeting of the Committee of the Whole.

Recommendations made at Thursday’s meeting and the July 16 meeting are to be ratified at the July 28 meeting of council.

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  1. Snowman says:

    @ Mark. This issue is just like every other one that comes before this council and has plagued the Council’s before it,since amalgamation.
    3 or 4 Councillors stronglyly in favour, 3or 4 against.
    3 or 4 undecided. No strong leadership/team building from the Mayor because in a group that large cliques /mistrust develop and linger that are hard to overcome.
    General apathy from the voters plays a large part in this, too. When a large portion of voters don’t even care enough to vote once every 4 years, that says volumes as well.
    Four years is too long a term in municipal government. Inertia sets in quickly after the first year and by the middle of year three Councillors are afraid of disturbing the status quo that close to re-election time.

  2. Mark says:

    You know what, from the lack of response perhaps the public just doesn’t care or has given up. Sad. The governance will continue to dictate without purpose or principle!

  3. Mark says:

    Thanks Wolfe. How do we make this government see that they need to represent the populace? There is not a plan on the table that comes close to respecting taxpayers wishes yet they forge ahead like they are getting it done! Mark my words ( pun intended) this will be a debacle.

  4. Wolf Braun says:

    I agree Mark.

  5. Mark says:

    I am having great difficulty with this very important constituent issue being decided by Council. I believe this is an electorate issue not a Council one. How can any Councilor not declare a conflict of interest on this one? They should not be deciding their own futures. There is no at large option on the table and the electorate has no say to change that. This is a debacle that is heading down a bad road. This is a populace matter not a Council matter!

  6. Emily says:

    We have 4 proposals that do not excite residents or that really make a sense of reasonable change or fairness. Why will the politicians not present an “at large system” to the public for consideration? Is this process about protecting turf or for the betterment of all County residents?

  7. Wolf Braun says:

    Its major disadvantages: (very weak excuses)

    a. No Councillor is specifically responsible for a given
    geographical area, so residents living in outlying areas of the County may not get sufficient attention.

    Nonsense ! We live in a relatively small geographical area. I can travel from east to west, north to south pretty quickly. There is telephone. Email. Texting. Mail.

    b. Approaching election time, each candidate has to campaign to the whole County, involving high costs and a large travel area. At-Large favours candidates with greater financial resources, or ready access to funding.

    More nonsense. See a) Hold neighbourhood town hall meetings. Meet in people’s living rooms. Restrict spending during elections. The list goes on.

    c. During the Council term, each Councillor’s required travel area to deal with specific location problems is the whole County, requiring a significantly greater time commitment.

    Still the same nonsense. See a) and b) above. How many problems can there be in such a small geographic area. Again, it’s about using today’s smart communication tools.

    I think Snowman and Mark have called it correctly from where I sit.

  8. Susan says:

    I agree, this has once again gone sideways and even worse with the shortlist. New Plan is poorly thought out and hurts urban areas. The JT plan is simply tinkering. The Angus plan is non workable as you will have some Councilors who are worth 15% and another who’s vote is worth 2.5%. Why would a Bloomfield Councilor sit and work for a near meaningless vote. So what will be the result? No change.

  9. Emily says:

    Is this the result of a cry for change? Sad. Why even go through the process? I think we have status quo.

  10. Mark says:

    Sorry Gary, they are pretty poor excuses against a County at large vote. I strongly believe in equal representation. Nothing can be resolved in the East as you present outside of Council. The whole populace electing their Council with equal voting weighting is quite enticing. Residents votes have equal weight and it removes the nonsensical idea of trying to maintain townships long gone.

  11. Gary Mooney says:

    Mark, re your question regarding local issues, using East as an example:

    Resolution of problems doesn’t always require the attention of the full Council. The team of 3, 4 or 5 Councillors in the East Electoral Ward can get together and find a solution on an informal basis.

  12. Gary Mooney says:

    Here are some comments about an At-Large system, adapted from a section on this topic in the N.E.W. Plan (www.bit.do/new-plan):

    Some people favour conversion to an At-Large system, whereby each Councillor represents the entire County.

    Its major disadvantages:
    a. No Councillor is specifically responsible for a given
    geographical area, so residents living in outlying areas of the County may not get sufficient attention.
    b. Approaching election time, each candidate has to campaign to the whole County, involving high costs and a large travel area. At-Large favours candidates with greater financial resources, or ready access to funding.
    c. During the Council term, each Councillor’s required travel area to deal with specific location problems is the whole County, requiring a significantly greater time commitment.

  13. Mark says:

    The at large option of electing 8 councilors and a mayor county wide has several key advantages;

    – everyone’s vote carries the same weight
    – eliminates acclamation
    – allows theoretically for the best candidates to be elected
    – forms a true County represents Council
    – puts an end to the old township protectionism

  14. Susan says:

    Can’t disagree with an at large option at all Snowman & Mark. What is disappointing is that it doesn’t appear to even being considered.

  15. Snowman says:

    Why does this council appear to not favour an “at large”
    option? It appears as if it’s not even up for discussion.
    One of the problems of County Council since amalgamation is the idea of an “at large” Mayor voted in by everyone having the same voting power at council as the councillor in Bloomfield who usually wins his seat with less than 200 votes! 13 councillors? might as well have the present system as chose that! NEW plan is a conjured up idea with no relevence , just a numbers game.
    We need a council of 8 , elected by every one. let’s get on with it. People: ask some former councillors who have been there. Many of the present ones are playing politics politics.

  16. Mark says:

    Thanks Gary. Question; how could that East geographical area reps deal with local issues outside of full Council? Our council is a County council that addresses all issues. Am I missing something here?

  17. Gary Mooney says:

    Re the N.E.W. Plan: A major reason for combining three smaller Wards with Picton into the East Electoral Ward is that these communities depend heavily on Picton for facilities and services. With a team of 3 or 4 or 5 Councillors, rural vs urban issues relating to the East geographical area can be dealt with locally, rather than at full Council.

    Each of the three Electoral Wards has a designated Urban Centre identified in the draft Official Plan update — Picton in the East, Wellington in the West and Rossmore in the North.

    The three Electoral Wards, as specified, have equal populations, thereby solving the rep. by pop. problem.

  18. Mark says:

    Disappointed there is not a County at large option which provides equal voting representation. I thought the Mayors proposal was moving forward as well but it is not identified. I do not like the New plan at all as it shoves Picton out with 3 small rural wards rather than being connected to it’s growth partner Hallowell. The largest urban centre ward could be left unrepresented. The problem they are trying to resolve is hampered by trying to maintain old townships that do not exist. Amalgamation is a County Council not former township protectionism!

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