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Council vote 9-7 to review council size

UPDATE May 13 – By a vote of nine to seven, the size of council issue will again move forward for public review and input.

“It can be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board,” said Mayor Robert Quaiff, “should status quo be the end result, or if a plan is approved to downsize.”

Council received the mayor’s recommendation to downsize and his report, which includes a history of the issue dating back to November, 2012 and excerpts from the Prince Edward County Citizen’s Assembly Final Report. See below:

Front row: (left to right) Roy Pennell, Jim Dunlop, Dianne O'Brien, Mayor Robert Quaiff, Janice Maynard, Barry Turpin, Treat Hull Back row: Steven Graham, Bill Roberts, Steven Ferguson, David Harrison, Brad Nieman, Kevin Gale, Jamie Forrester, Lenny Epstein, Gordon Fox

Front row: (left to right) Roy Pennell, Jim Dunlop, Dianne O’Brien, Mayor Robert Quaiff,
Janice Maynard, Barry Turpin, Treat Hull
Back row: Steven Graham, Bill Roberts, Steven Ferguson, David Harrison, Brad Nieman,
Kevin Gale, Jamie Forrester, Lenny Epstein, Gordon Fox

Mayor re-opens talks on council size

APRIL 13 – County mayor Robert Quaiff will initiate discussion on the review of size of council at a special Committee of the Whole meeting Thursday morning at Shire Hall.

Mayor Robert Quaiff

Mayor Robert Quaiff

The purpose of the report is to provide background information, and steps required should council decide to change the size of council and electoral ward boundaries. Council will receive the mayor’s report, which includes a history of the issue dating back to November, 2012 and excerpts from the Prince Edward County Citizen’s Assembly Final Report.

His report will also include electoral boundaries proposals by both Gary Mooney and Dick Prinzen and an electoral ward boundary options report from September 2013.

As a starting point, based on the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly and a previous Committee of the Whole motion, Mayor Quaiff suggests the size of today’s 16-member council be reduced to 10 councillors and a mayor with consideration given to a two electoral district system as used by the school board.

Electoral district 1 comprises the wards Wellington, Ameliasburgh, Hillier and Sophiasburgh.
Population estimated at 10,954 and electoral (including non-residents) 12,759.
Electoral district 2 comprises the wards of Picton, Bloomfield, Athol, Hallowell, North and South Marysburgh. Population estimated at 11,309 and electoral (including non-residents) 13,366.

BACKGROUND

– In 2008, a Composition of Council Committee was established and provided a report to council with various options on electoral boundaries and council representation. The report contained various electoral boundary options for a council comprised of 10

councillors and a mayor. Those included a 2 Electoral Ward System, 5 Electoral Ward System, and an Election at Large option with no electoral boundaries. The report of the Composition of Council Committee was received and no further action was taken on the
matter.

– Following the above-noted decision by council, a Petition of Electors was presented by Lyle McBurney, Chair of Electors of Prince Edward County for Restructuring Wards and Council. The petition requested council enact a bylaw to restructure the present 10 Wards into 6 Wards, and reduce size of council from 15 plus a Mayor to 2 Councillors per Ward and a Mayor at large.

– Further to that petition, there was an OMB Hearing that led to the following question being included on the Ballot for the 2010 municipal election:
“Are you in favour of Council commencing a public consultation process to review the size of Council for the County of Prince Edward?”

– In 2013, although the results of the question on the Ballot did not mandate the municipality to take any further action, the municipality issued a Request for Proposal for Consultant Services to Review Size of Council. A Citizens’ Assembly was established and provided a report to Council with a recommendation that Council be reduced from the current 15 Councillors plus a Mayor, to ten (10) Councillors and a Mayor, to represent the County of Prince Edward.
The report of the Citizens’ Assembly was presented at a Special Committee of the Whole meeting held on September 19, 2013. The Committee of the Whole report from this meeting was considered at a Special Council meeting held on October 9, 2013 and,
although the Committee of the Whole report included motions related to the Size of Council and Electoral Ward Boundaries, they were not adopted by Council at that meeting.

Click here for full council document

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  1. JKB says:

    With a vote by council of 9-7 to review the size of council, it looks like a reduction of councillors is very unlikely, just another waste of time….I still believe as voters we should be able to vote for those running regardless of were they within the county….I understand why a decision and hardly ever be made with that many councillors trying to come to a consenus….There are not many that would vote to maybe eliminate their jobs.

  2. Wolf Braun says:

    So much time and money spent and wasted on the issue of Council size.

    The people have spoken, both times. Yet still no sign of change.

    Why is it that some Councilors come to the table believing that they best know and understand the PURPOSE of Municipal government. It’s clear by their votes that they do not.

    What’s needed by this Council is a clear, concise and easily understood PURPOSE of government…. why municipal government exists. Not only does every elected municipal official need to understand why they are at the round table, they must also agree to a statement of PURPOSE. Without such understanding and agreement we allow our elected officials to enter the twilight zone of unreality. That causes friction and accomplishes very little. 🙁

    As well, all Councilors ‘must’ follow an agreed upon set of PRINCIPLES once elected that guides them when making important decisions on our behalf. Right now principles are individual or non-existant. Does anyone know what PRINCIPLES our elected officials adhere to ?? I don’t.

    What’s our responsibility as voters?

    We need to fully engage in all levels of politics. Democracy is not what governments do. Democracy is what people do. We need to elect people, not on charisma, but on basic beliefs that we can agree on. We also need to agree on what we want as the PURPOSE of government.

    Anyone care to engage in a discussion ?

  3. Debbie says:

    This makes me sick. Do we no longer live in Canada????

  4. Bob says:

    Guess Council will no longer be able to pray before each meeting. Maybe they will need to !!!

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