MAYNOOTH – After months of deliberation, the Municipality of Hastings Highlands has come to a decision to improve voter parity.
At the March 22 meeting, council decided, after one failed vote, to remove the ward system and instead allow councillors to be elected in an at-large system. This would give residents the chance to vote for anyone running to be a councillor, rather than only voting for the candidates in their wards.
The municipality has three wards, including Herschel, Monteagle and Bangor-Wicklow-McClure, with two members representing each.
A petition was submitted by residents calling for voter parity in the municipality. If council did not act within 90 days, or kept the system status-quo, the municipality could have been taken to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), which according to council, is a costly process.
Two options were presented at the recent council meeting. The first included reducing the Monteagle ward to one representative, down from the current two. The second included switching the wards to an at-large system and for council to decide on a council size (at a minimum of five members.)
Deputy Mayor Gregg Roberts favoured the first option, to reduce Monteagle ward down to one representative.
Get your March 29, 2017 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full article.