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Sunday July 16th, 2017

Posted at 9:00am

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The Town of Essex is seeking public input on possible ward boundary changes.

As a result of public consultations that took place in March and April 2017, Council voted to elect the Deputy Mayor position at large commencing with the 2018 Election, maintain the current size of Town Council at seven members, retain the Ward Election System; and  direct the consultants, Watson and Associates Economists Ltd., to initiate an immediate review of the ward boundaries.

Under the current system, six members of Council, including the Deputy Mayor, are elected from amongst the four wards.

“With Council’s recent decision to elect the Deputy Mayor at large, it means that the remaining five positions on council must be elected through a revised ward system,” says Rob Auger, Town Clerk and Manager of Legislative Services.

Essex is asking the public to assist by providing feedback on the most effective number and alignment of ward boundaries in order to ensure effective and equitable representation amongst the five councillors, keeping in mind that all residents will now also get to vote for a Deputy Mayor.

During public consultations held July 10 and 11, six possible ward boundary options were presented by Watson and Associates. Residents are encouraged to review the project materials posted on the “Council and Ward Structure Review” page on the Town’s website, and then complete a short feedback survey.

The feedback form is available in print at various locations, including Town Hall  and at the Harrow and Colchester South Community Cent

All responses must be submitted by July 28th, 2017.

Watson and Associates are expected to present their findings and a set of options for Council’s consideration at a future meeting. Any changes to the ward or council structure must be confirmed in a municipal by-law that is passed prior to December 31, 2017.

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