SCUGOG: Scugog residents were presented with four preliminary ward boundary designs, at the Township’s ward boundary review open house, at the Scugog Memorial Public Library, on Tuesday, May 16th.
According to Watson and Associates and Dr. Robert Williams, drawing from 2016 numbers, Ward 1 has a population of 4,940, Ward 2 has a population of 5,475, Ward 3 has 3,015, Ward 4 has a population of 5,850 and Ward 5 has 4,620.
“The current Ward 3 is far smaller in population than the other four wards,” Dr. Robert Williams told those in attendance.
Preliminary option A, involves extending ward 3 to the area to the south, having it take some of the area which currently resides in ward 4. There were also slight tweaks made to other wards in the township.
Dr. Williams said the changes keep “the major central business district, from Perry St. down to the lake, in a single ward.”
In option A, Ward 1 would have a population of 4,760, Ward 2 would have a population of 4,930, Ward 3 would have 3,380 residents, Ward 4 would decrease to 5,665 and Ward 5 would see their population increase to 5,165.
Option B would see Ward 3 take some of the area to the east of it in Ward 4, stopping short of Caesarea. In this option, Ward 1 would have the same population as in option A, Ward 2 would see its population decrease to 4,470, Ward 3 would see its population increase to 3,485, Ward 4 would decrease to 5,560 residents and Ward 5 would have a population of 5,625. Dr. Williams explained boundary option C.
“In option C, we are back to a linear ward 3, expanded ward 2 out to the east a little bit, trimmed [ward 1], trimmed [ward 4] and [we]tried again to look for a balance,” he said. “Its got a pretty good population balance with that slight tweak.”
Option C would see Ward 1 decrease to 4,825 residents, Ward 2 would have 4,470 residents, Ward 3 and Ward 4 would have the same population as in option A, and Ward 5 would have a population of 5,560.
Option D would see Ward 4 and Ward 2 take some of the territory that currently lies in Ward 1 and Ward 3 taking a corner of Port Perry area. This would lead to Ward 1 having a population of 4,210, Ward 2 would have a population of 4,140, Ward 3 would have 3,895 residents, Ward 4 would have 6,030 residents and Ward 5 would have a population of 5,625.
Dr. Williams explained to The Standard why none of the options involved changing the number of wards in the township.
“I raised [the topic of changing the number of wards] in some of the discussions with elected officials and I didn’t get a great sense that there was an appetite to increase the size of council. There are a number of factors to take into account, if that were to happen, in terms of the cost, not a big cost but there is still a cost, where that extra seat would go and just the general dynamics of making the council operate with a larger number,” he said. “It was not an issue that people felt strongly about, that we decided we should try to add that. If however there is a sentiment out there in the community, of course we will invite people, through their responses, to say ‘where’s the other seat?, we need another seat’ and we would welcome that perspective.”
For more information on the ward boundary review, and to leave a comment on the review, visit www.scugog.ca/en/township-office/ward-boundary-review.aspx.