TRURO – The Municipality of Colchester County is once again implementing a boundary review.
Electoral boundary review underway in Colchester County
The county is mandated by the Municipal Government Act (MGA) to review
its election boundaries, number of councillors, and citizen to council ratio. The review must be done every eight years and the last one took place in 2006, said county CAO Ramesh Ummat during last week’s regular county council meeting.
The review should confirm or alter councillor and boundary numbers of each polling district, and will include public consultation. According to documents discussed at last week’s meeting, public feedback
will gather information about whether residents believe council and electoral boundaries should remain the same, be larger or smaller.
The information could be gathered from a questionnaire, in the county’s regular newsletter or by hiring a consultant. Council indicated it wasn’t in favour of spending money for outside sources to do the work.
“We have competent in-house staff. I’d be very disturbed if we spent $25,000 or $30,000 to hire a consultant,” said deputy mayor Bill Masters, adding, “if citizens and we are comfortable and the numbers are close … we should keep” things status quo.
“Why are we trying to fix that which isn’t broke?” Masters asked.
“If a rural municipality is spread too thin, then it’s not getting (proper) representation,” by council, added Mayor Bob Taylor.
Coun. Tom Taggart was interested in seeing how Colchester County compares to other municipalities.
“I’d like to see how comparable (this) municipality’s infrastructure, size and population to councillors is … it’d be interesting to know where we rank and I hope we can show we are not over-governing,” Taggart said.
Council voted unanimously to use staff resources instead of hiring a consultant. The MGA indicates council has before the end of the year after a study is done to apply for approval of its boundary review.