SCUGOG: Council has decided to adopt new ward boundaries ahead of the 2018 municipal election.
At a meeting on Monday, June 26th, Erik Karvinen, from Watson and Associates, and Dr. Robert Williams presented council with two boundary options.
According to a report from Watson and Associates, Option 1 was seen as a “minor reconfiguration of the existing ward structure” and option 2 was based on a preliminary option previously presented at a public meeting, but tweaked. Council decided to choose option 2.
In option 2, Ward 4 will remain as it is presently drawn. Downtown Port Perry is now in a single ward, Ward 5. According to Watson and Associates' report, Ward 2 “includes most of the greenfield residential growth.” The rural area is now excluded from Ward 5, and Cawkers Creek will be part of the western boundary of the ward.
Mr. Karvinen and Dr. Williams had previously presented four preliminary options to residents at a public meeting, and after they received comments from the public, they decided to create two final options for council to decide on.
“We heard strong interest [from the public] in maintaining the exisiting ward structure,” Mr. Karvinen said.
Dr. Williams explained the difficulty in creating optimal wards in Scugog.
“The difficulty we find, given the nature of this particular municipality, [is] it’s typography and history meant it was very difficult to get to a population balance without a major violation of some of the other principles,” he said.
Dr. Williams added the two options acknowledge the fact the “population in Ward 3 is low and will remain low.”
Clerk J.P. Newman said option 2 “seems to fit more of the criteria of the guiding principles.”