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Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015
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Elected regional chair idea makes a comeback BY LISA QUEEN
Lifeguard makes waves at international competition PAGE 3
Warning posted at park for popular turtle scuplture SEE LETTERS PAGE 6
Frustrated with backroom wheeling and dealing in advance of the appointment of York Region’s chairperson, Markham Councillor Joe Li wants to make the job an elected position. He will bring in a motion this fall asking regional council to advise the provincial government it wants the chair’s job to be elected in time for the next term of council following the 2018 municipal elections. “I’m working on that. When I was campaigning for re-election (last year), a lot of people asked me why the regional chair is not elected so I made a pledge if reelected, I will make sure it’s going to happen,” said Li, adding Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor Justin Altmann has indicated he will second the motion. “The reason I’m doing it is (because) this is an important position. I believe in democratic (election of the chair). I believe it’s time the chair should be elected. When it’s appointed, there’s a lot of backroom deals. If it’s appointed, you have to make deals. If it’s elected, you go straight to the people.” The chair, who earns more than $200,000 a year, is now appointed to a four-year term by the region’s 20 mayors and regional councillors. Newmarket-Aurora MPP Chris Ballard, who has introduced a private member’s bill at Queen’s Park to make the position elected, said he would welcome Li’s motion. “We don’t need a motion from the region. However, if regional council took it upon itself to request this change of the minister (of municipal affairs, Ted McMeekin), it would expedite the change,” he said. “Higher levels of government don’t always like to impose things on lower level governments. I think our minister, we all, would be much happier if the region See HOGG, page 23.
STAFF PHOTOS/STEVE SOMERVILLE
COOLING OFF The town’s many splash pads have been popular during several heatwaves this summer. At Richvale Community Centre, dad Richard Noonan and son Mitch enjoy a refreshing shower, while the cold water seems a little too refreshing for William Coulthard (left).
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Richmond Hill Liberal August 20, 2015