Council chooses Ward Boundary review options for public consultation
Judy Currins, City Clerk, provided a report to Council that offered seven possible options for revising the Ward Boundaries and size of Council. All options support the majority of the four following guiding principles which include: representation by population; communities of interest (areas with common interests such as agriculture, tourism, seasonal and commerce); physical features as boundaries (rivers, lakes and major highways); and effective representation (serving the interests of the City as a whole).
Currins explains, "Kawartha Lakes has its challenges due to its geography, configuration, the number of communities, the uniqueness of the municipality and the natural water boundaries. It became evident quite early in the process, that this exercise was more difficult than drawing lines on a map."
All of the options have been reviewed by Dr. Robert Williams, a Public Affairs Consultant specializing in municipal electoral systems from Waterloo, Ontario. Since 2008 he has undertaken many reviews including Kitchener, Markham, Milton and Oakville.
Council considered the seven options presented which included proposed changes to ward structure, ward boundaries and the size of Council.
Council chose three of seven options to move forward for public consultation. Options include: Adjust boundaries and keep size of Council at status quo, four wards with two to four Councillors per ward or five wards with twelve Councillors total. Following public consultation, Council will decide which option is best and whether boundaries and size of Council should be changed.
The public will be invited to participate in the consultation process beginning in early June and extending over the next few months. An online survey and presentation outlining all options will be available on the City's website with hard copies provided at Service Centres and Libraries. The Mayor's Town Hall meetings this summer will include an overview of the review and an opportunity to provide feedback. Business and community groups will be contacted by the City for their input and to help reach their membership.
For further information, please contact:
705-324-9411 extension 1295