As most have likely read in this week’s edition, the City of Kawartha Lakes has decided to trim the number of Councillors in half, from the original sixteen members to eight councillors and one mayor. There are numerous reasons why this is a good decision for the future of the City. For one thing, this act by council proves that residents are being listened to.
At the Tuesday, Oct. 17th meeting, Council was shown the results of a public survey which stated 74 per cent of its respondents wanted a reduction in Council size. People were very vocal in deciding the future of their council, with many sending letters and voicing their opinions at public meetings to help shape the future of the municipality and it seems they were truly heard.
It is also not often politicians make a decision to trim their own jobs, so this is a refreshing move.
As a paper that covers Council meetings weekly, we also know how hard it can be sometimes for Councils to find a consensus, when they have different voices offering up their two cents, and not all wards, or Councillors, can feel their voices are counting for something all of the time. When you have a Council that has a total of 16 members, it just becomes that much harder to make a decision the majority agrees upon.
Trimming council, in the short term, may also motivate the councillors currently in power to do as much as they can, to prove they should stay in power. Now that Council is being reduced, there are going to be less openings, and therefore some will have to go, so now residents will get to see exactly who deserves their vote in the 2018 election.
In the long run, this decision will also help taxpayers, as it obviously affects future budgets. There will be less councillors for the city to pay.
This decision is truly historic, and City Council deserves praise for listening to the people and making a choice that was for the betterment of the City. One that, risk wise, could leave some of them on the outside looking in, after the 2018 election.
It should be something interesting to watch, now Council just needs to decide if they are going with a four ward or an eight ward system.
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