County News, Size of Council

Size of Council Timeline

Posted: July 12, 2017 at 2:13 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

June 2008

  • Ad hoc committee formed to research and examine electoral and representative models
  • The ad hoc committee is subsequently directed not to make a recommendation

November 2008

  • Ad hoc committee produces report with 14 alternatives
  • Council deliberates 14 options.
  • After several days of debate, council is stalemated

January 2009

  • Council abandons its attempt to find a solution.

May 2009

  • Lyle McBurney and Jim McPherson launch OMB appeal. Appeal fails. OMB adjudicator Jyoti Zuidema rules that council process must be allowed to be completed.
  • Another council debate ensues. Stalemate again.
  • Mayor Leo Finnegan declares that council will ask voters to decide.

August 2010

  • Council crafts a question to be posed on the ballot for the October 2010 election. The question is: Are you in favour of Council commencing a public consultation process to review the size of Council for the County of Prince Edward?

October 2010

  • Election. Ballot queston result: 81 per cent vote Yes. Despite the result indicating overwhelming support for a review of council size, the issue lays dormant for the next two years.

May 2012

  • Another attempt to raise the issue. Council says it won’t reopen size of council deliberations

November 2012

  • Deliberations begin again

Summer 2013

  • Citizens’ Assembly formed to recommend council size

September 2013

  • Citizens’ Assembly recommendation—10 councillors plus 1 mayor
  • Mayor Peter Mertens promotes five-ward, 2 councillors per ward plan. Gains broad support in public meetings across the County.

October 2013

  • Ultimately Council votes to reject any plan to reduce size of council.

December 2013

  • Council rejects last ditch appeal—will stay with the status quo.

Fall 2014

  • Candidates in the municipal election hear from voters angry that it had not acted upon the results of the ballot question in 2010, and the Citizens’ Assembly in 2013.
  • After the election, the new council has little appetite to take on the size of council issue.

Spring 2015

  • Council seeks input from the community. Asks for proposals. Receives 19. Listens to some. Whittle options down to four.

August 2015

  • A majority of council members state they will not support a reduction in the size of council. Yet, council proceeds to take four proposals to the public.
  • 1. Status Quo. 2. Drop two councillors (Bloomfield and Sophiasburgh). 3 Two electoral wards, 10 councillors 4. Three electoral wards, 12 councillors

September 2015

  • Pierre Klein presents new proposal—one he says adheres to Canadian electoral principles and law—something he argues all four plans presented to the public fail to do. Council tells Klein he has come too late and won’t consider his plan.
  • Public survey finds least support for 1. Status quo and 1. Dropping two councillors.

October 2015

  • Council adopts criteria by which it will evaluate plans to alter the size of council. That criteria is:
  • a) Odd number of Council members – does the plan provide for an odd number of Council members
  • b) Voter Parity – does the proposal allow all electors to cast the same number of votes?
  • c) Equitable distribution of Population – does the proposal distribute the population and electors equitably?
  • d) Respect identifiable communities of interest – does the proposal respect identifiable communities of interest?
  • e) Utilize natural physical boundaries – does the proposal utilize natural, physical boundaries that are locally recognized?
  • f) Serve the larger public interest – does the proposal serve the larger public interest of all electors of the municipality in contrast to the interest of a small group?

November 2015

  • Council votes 9-7 to reduce council size by two.
  • Asked if Council has followed its own process, Chief Administrative Officer responds, “Not fully.”

Janaury 2016

  • Councillor Kevin Gale asks his colleagues to defer ratification of its decision until a legal opinion is produced. His motion is lost on a 8-8 vote.

March 2016

  • Pierre Klein files an appeal of Council’s decision to the Ontario Municipal Board

July 2017

  • Hearings will be heard.