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Resolving council size and preserving County wards

New-Plan-MooneyThe size of council is to be addressed again (at a special committee of the whole meeting set for April 16).
I would like to draw attention to the N.E.W. Plan, which I proposed to the previous council in 2013. It was not formally considered, because council was committed to responding to the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly.
The N.E.W. Plan has attracted a lot of interest, having been accessed more than 1,100 times on the County’s website. See www.bit.do/new-plan for a concise but complete description. I will present this plan to the new council.

Personally, I don’t have an opinion on the most appropriate number of councillors. My main objective in proposing the N.E.W. Plan is to ensure preservation of the County’s 10 historic wards, with no boundary changes, regardless of the size of council. The plan keeps the 10 historic wards intact, while accommodating several possible council sizes – a mayor plus 15, or 12, or 9, or even six councillors.
Under this plan, three electoral wards are established, covering two, four and four existing historic wards respectively, with no boundary changes.

North Electoral Ward includes Ameliasburgh and Sophiasburgh; East includes Picton, North Marysburgh, South Marysburgh and Athol; West includes Hallowell, Bloomfield, Wellington and Hillier.
Each Electoral Ward elects a team of councillors, the same number for each. There could be as many as five councillors for each Electoral Ward (total of 15), or as few as two each (total of six).
Except for councillor representation, the County continues to operate as at present with its 10 historic wards, maintaining existing road signage, town halls, libraries and rec committees, and with each historic ward retaining focus on its own issues and interests. The only difference is that there are three teams of councillors, each with the responsibility of representing more than one historic ward.

In addition to preserving the 10 historic wards, the N.E.W. Plan offers other important benefits, including equitable representation by population, access by all residents to more than one councillor representative, and recognition of three development areas in the County – north, east and west. These benefits will be realized even if council decides to continue with 15 councillors.

The N.E.W. Plan is simple, and inexpensive to implement. It will work if councillors are up to the challenge of representing more than one historic ward, and are willing to work as part of a team, as is now the case in Ameliasburgh (three councillors) and Hallowell, Picton and Sophiasburgh (two each).
The issue of council size has been, and continues to be, divisive in our community – especially when ward boundary changes are contemplated. The N.E.W. Plan preserves the 10 historic wards intact and improves representation, while affording council the opportunity to deal with the size issue, free of other complications.

If you like this plan, please let your councillor know.
Gary Mooney
Hillier
 

Filed Under: Letters and OpinionNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. Wolf Braun says:

    I’m sure Bill did. There’s always an exception.

  2. Gary Mooney says:

    Everything is open for discussion. I’m 99% certain that Council won’t act before giving citizens the chance for input.

    Wolf, you said:”Visiting each household during an election campaign would be impossible. That’s already true for all wards. Name a Candidate who has done this already. This is the 21st century. Technology has solved this problem.

    I name Bill Roberts. He told me that he canvassed the whole Ward twice during the campaign. There is no substitute for doorstep meetings with electors. Email, Twitter and websites are not nearly as effective.

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