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Mississippi Mills upholds voters’ wishes to reduce council size

without much more discussion from councillors, who voted to support the creation of the bylaw. The necessary bylaw will now be prepared and brought forward for the official vote at an upcoming council meeting. ARNPRIOR



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The Town of Mississippi Mills has chosen to listen to its voters. At its regular meeting on April 21, Mississippi Mills committee-of-the-whole voted to support the creation of a bylaw to change the composition of council from 11 to seven members in 2018 – upholding the views of their voters in the process. Mississippi Mills council currently has 11 members: a mayor, four councillors for Almonte ward, four councillors for Ramsay ward and two councillors for Pakenham ward. The town has been wrestling with the idea of changing the composition of council since an operational review of the administration department in 2000. The firm conducting the study, Wilson and Wade, recommended that council be reduced to seven members: a mayor, a deputy mayor, two councillors for Almonte ward, two councillors for Ramsay ward and one for Pakenham ward. Since then, two further studies have recommended the same change. In 2004, the issue was revisited and public consultation supported the same structure of seven members. Then, most recently, an operational review of the town in 2012 and 2013 also dealt with the issue of the size of council. Both internal and public consultation addressed the topic through surveys and interviews. The study found that 75 per cent of town staff supported a reduction in council’s size, as did the major-

ity of council and community representatives. committee-of-the-whole voted on a recommenEven more telling: less than half of residents dation to create the necessary bylaw to change surveyed claimed they were satisfied by the the size and composition of council ahead of current composition of council. the 2018 election. Councillors had the opportuTo help them in their decision, the town’s nity, if they so chose, to defeat the recommenprevious council authorized a referendum ques- dation and ignore their voters. tion to be placed on the 2014 municipal elec“We’re morally bound, even if tion ballot. The question read: “Given that town we’re not legally bound, to support council is currently composed of 11 members, this,â€? said Mayor Shaun McLaughdo you support a change in the composition lin before the vote. of council beginning in the year 2018 to sev“This is what our residents have en members, with a mayor and deputy mayor told us they want.â€? elected at large, one ward councillor for PakenThe recommendation was carried ham, two ward councillors for Ramsay and two ward OPEN HOUSE councillors for Almonte?â€? Again, residents showed SUNDAY MAY 3RD & 10TH 2-4PM support for a reduction in the size of council. Of the 53 per cent of the 10,110 members of the voting population who cast a ballot, 58 per cent voted in support of the proposed composition. According to a report complied for committee of the whole by Julie Oram, the town’s clerk, Section 8.3 144 Division St. Arnprior $349,900 of the Municipal Elections 1300 sq. ft. 2 bedroom, 2 baths, Hardwood oors throughout. Act states “the municipality shall do everything in Full basement unďŹ nished. Large double garage. Added feature its power to implement the automatic gas ďŹ red generator, many extras. result of the question in a See slide show: timely manner.â€? 613-623-2200 R0092944173/0430 At its April 21 meeting,


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Prescott Arnprior Chronicle-Guide - Thursday, May 7, 2015 23


Arnprior Chronicle-Guide May 7, 2015