Council had quite a few items of interest as some were deferred from General Committee the week before. First we dealt with the staff report on internet voting; however as I have already put up a post about it http://www.mrakas.ca/internet-voting-part-2/ and we will be getting another staff report next month – I will leave my comments on that for a later post. So more to come!
Another item that was before Council for consideration was the recommendations from the Governance Review Committee (Note: Recommendations from the Committee are reported in the minutes of the committee meeting and then are put to Council for review and approval). The minutes reflected committee discussions about a desire to look at a wards system in time for the 2018 municipal election. This would require a new governance structure for the municipality as well as the development of ward boundaries. Specifically, the Governance Committee recommends,
- That staff investigate and report back on the feasibility of a ward boundary review, including the process and cost of retaining a consultant, projected budget, and timelines; and
- That the direction of the Governance Review Ad Hoc Committee with respect to the feasibility of a ward system be confirmed.
In considering the minutes of the Committee, Council voted to approve with a vote of 8-1 (Councillor Pirri opposed) which in effect approves the recommendations contained therein. Councillor Thompson, in a question to the Chair, confirmed that this is the effect of the vote to approve the minutes. Thus, Council in the majority has confirmed its interest in the possibility of adopting a ward system for the 2018 municipal election.
As Council has now approved the recommendation to consider the possibility of adopting a ward system for 2018, the Governance Review Committee will be looking at retaining a consultant to begin the process of developing boundaries for and governance process changes related to the adoption of a ward system. It is hoped that this can be completed in time to implement the ward system in time for the 2018 election.
I know the debate about a ward system versus an at-large system of representation has been on-going in Aurora for a very long time. I, for one, am looking forward to reviewing the report, considering the options and moving forward with a decision. The Committee has done a great job, and I look forward to reviewing the report that will be brought back to Council for consideration. So there will be more to come on this as well!
And the last item I will mention in this week’s update is the Mavrinac Park Tender which was on the agenda for approval. I am very pleased to say that the tender was approved 7-2 (Councillor Pirri and Mayor Dawe opposed). Construction on the park will begin ASAP and with the original timeframe of a September completion. This is going to be a great park, a wonderful addition to Aurora’s greenspace that can be enjoyed by all our residents, today and for generations to come.