Alfred and Plantagenet’s council will be smaller after the 2022 election
Politicians often promise to reduce the size of government. In Alfred and Plantagenet, this is actually going to happen.
At its meeting on October 5, the council adopted a by-law aimed at reducing its size, as of the municipal election of 2022. Currently, Alfred and Plantagenet has six councilors. Three are elected in each of the two districts and the mayor is elected by all the inhabitants. When the changes come into effect, two councilors will be elected in each ward.
From July to September, the township conducted an online survey of residents to determine if there was support for reducing the size of the council. Of the 187 residents who responded to the survey, 72.7 percent supported the change to a five-member council (four councilors and the mayor).
Under the Ontario Municipal Act, a municipality must have at least four councilors.
The motion to adopt the recommendation to receive the report on the reduction in the size of the council is proposed by Councilor Yves Laviolette and seconded by Councilor Suzanne Lafrance.
“It is a question of reducing the council from six members to four”, declared the mayor Stephane Sarrazin.
The mayor mentioned cost savings and the difficulty of finding enough candidates to run for vacant council seats as reasons for reducing the size of the council.
Councilor Ian Walker opposed the reduction in the number of council seats.
“I said it from the start when it was first proposed by Mr. Laviolette and I say it all along, that advisers must be paid more”, Walker said.
To advise RenÃ© Beaulne said he agreed with Walker on board compensation.
The base salary for Alfred and Plantagenet advisors is $ 19,000, plus additional amounts for meeting and convention expenses.
Beaulne said the savings from reducing the size of the board would be small. He said the responsibilities of councilors have increased, due to municipal governments taking on more roles.
âWe need good candidates for the board; we have to pay them well, âsaid Beaulne.
Laviolette and Lafrance indicated that an increase in board compensation could be considered during budget discussions.
âIt’s something to be discussed at the budget level,â Laviolette said.
Managing Director (CEO) Michel Potvin commented that âsavings were just one considerationâ in the consultation process.
He also pointed out that the report was only about reducing the size of the board and not about board salaries.
“Our mandate was to consult the population on reducing the size of the board”, Potvin noted.
The township CEO estimated the annual savings with four advisers instead of six would be around $ 60,000.
With the exception of Walker, all councilors voted in favor of receiving the report.
When the bylaw to reduce the size of the board to four instead of six was submitted to the board later in the meeting, all of the councilors except Walker voted in favor on all three readings. .