STEWIACKE: Stewiacke Town Council is beginning the process of their boundary review, which will determine the size of council moving forward.
“Staff have advertised, receiving no feedback from residents,” said Stewiacke CAO Sheldon Dorey. “Maybe they don’t see it; I really don’t know. This is the second time we’ve done it—last time had the exact same results. Staff has no recommendations yet.”
The boundaries of the town aren’t going to increase or decrease, so it is the size and structure of Stewiacke Town Council that is up for review. Dorey gave a brief overview of the options available to council; alongside a short list of the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
“In the report, councillors can see that our assessments have gone up, our revenue has gone up, and our operational budgets are going up,” he said. “We are still seeing growth. The town is growing as councillors are aware from our monthly zoning reports—slowly but surely getting a little bit bigger. Our options are to stay at status quo; the advantage is that despite our small size, this is quite the busy little town, especially in the summer. There are significant assets to manage and oversee. A disadvantage is that some people may feel that six councillors is excessive for a town this size—another disadvantage is that it may be difficult to have residents run for council; however we have not had that problem yet.
“Option B is to increase the size of council,” continued Dorey. “There are no advantages perceived; a disadvantage would be minor additional costs. This isn’t really an option, it’s just for consideration by council members. Option C is to decrease the number of councillors. Advantages would be a minor decrease in cost, and it would appear easier to get people to volunteer during an election—but as I have said, we’ve never really had a problem with that. Disadvantages would be an increased amount of responsibility or workload on a smaller council—a majority of this council and of previous councils has been made up of working members; so this has caused some concerns with schedules and meetings.”
Deputy Mayor Susan Creelman spoke later in the discussion about what committees the council is currently involved in, and how many they must be involved in; in terms of what...