Friday, June 23, 2017

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Canadian Publications Agreement No. 40727545

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Lakefield Ward Boundaries

Jan. 27, 2017

 

by terry gillis

 

In March of 2016, CAO, Janice Lavalley presented Council with a Ward Boundary Review Report. This report was in response to the previous Council’s direction. Prior Council had requested that a review of ward boundaries commence in 2016 in order to ensure that, should there be any changes approved, the process would be complete in time for implementation effective with the 2018 municipal election.

At a public consultation in 2012, there had not been a strong desire expressed by the residents for change to the ward boundaries. However, as noted, previous Council had directed Township staff to commence a boundary review.

As part of the consideration of potential Ward boundary changes, staff presented current council with a number of options:

1. Maintain the status quo (i.e. do nothing)

2. The dissolution of all Wards to create an at-large system

3. Decrease the number of Wards

4. Reconfigure the existing Ward boundaries

In March of 2016, Councillor Ballantyne made a motion to have a report that outlines the additional options of dividing Smith Township, extending Lakefield Township, outlining the financial impact of adding one or two councillors (and wards) and how having six Councillors has worked for other municipalities be prepared by staff and brought back to Council at a future meeting. Included in her motion was to schedule a special public meeting to discuss the boundary review.

On June 21, 2016 Council directed staff to proceed with moving forward with public consultation on expanding the current Lakefield Ward boundary to include the developable lands in the Lakefield South Secondary Planning area that are currently in the Smith Ward with the view of effecting a ward boundary adjustment for the stated lands for the 2018 municipal election; and that staff bring forward a report that outlines recommended consultation materials and methods.

In  accordance with Council direction received at the October 11, 2016 meeting, a two-part consultation process was conducted.

The first part of the process entailed the circulation of information to all properties in the Lakefield South Secondary Planning area explaining the proposed boundary adjustment. This part also served to collect feedback from those property owners directly impacted by the proposed change.

The second part of the consultation was a public open house where information was presented on the proposed ward boundary adjustment.  The open house was well attended and both Council members and staff were present to meet with  residents, discuss the proposal and answer any questions.

At the January 24, 2017 Council meeting, CAO, Janice Lavalley provided Council members with the Ward Boundary Review consultation results and recommended that Council direct the Clerk to prepare the necessary By-law to put the ward boundary adjustment into effect as proposed.

The recommendation was approved.