Ward Boundary and Council Structure Review

Status

Council at the January 24, 2017, Special Meeting gave consideration to StrategyCorps' Final Report on the Ward Boundary and Council Structure Review. Council accepted Option 3B as recommended in the report, with some further minor boundary adjustments. A graphic of the accepted recommendation is on page 40 of the Final Report appended below.

An Administrative Report will be forthcoming to Council on the minor boundary adjustments to Option 3B, along with implementation steps.

Overview

The Town of Tecumseh is undertaking a Ward Boundary and Council Structure Review (Review). The Review is considering:
• The size, shape and number of Tecumseh’s wards;
• The composition of Tecumseh’s council;
• Ward or at large elections for Tecumseh’s councillors;
• Ranked ballot voting; and,
• Alternative voting methods.

Why a Council and Ward Structure Review?

Tecumseh’s current council structure and ward boundaries were established through amalgamation on January 1, 1998 – almost two decades ago.

The object of the Review is to ensure that Tecumseh’s ward boundaries and council structure continue to provide a system of effective and equitable representation for all residents.

Public Consultation

Public consultation and feedback are integral to the Ward Boundary and Council Structure Review.

Two public meetings were held in October 27, 2016. The drop-in format meetings presented background information about the review as well as ward and council structure options for consideration.

Public Meetings

Date:  October 27, 2016
Time:  2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
Location:  Tecumseh Town Hall, 917 Lesperance Road, Tecumseh

Date:  October 27, 2016
Time:  2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
Location:  St. Mary’s Hall, 12016 County Road 34, Maidstone

If you are unable to attend one of the public meetings, you can still get involved by reviewing the materials and completing an online feedback questionnaire. The questionnaire can be found at the following link - Ward Boundary Questionnaire

Guiding Principles

The Ward Boundary and Council Structure Review will be guided by the overarching principle of “effective representation” as set out by the Supreme Court of Canada in Reference re Provincial Electoral Boundaries as well as:

  • Representation by Population: wards should have relatively equal population totals. However, a degree of variation is acceptable given differences in geography and  population densities as well as the town’s characteristics;
  • Population and Electoral Trends: consider anticipated population increases/decreases so that ward sizes will be balanced for up to three terms of Council;
  • Means of Communication and Accessibility: group existing neighbourhoods into wards that reflect current transportation and communication patterns;
  • Geographic and Topographical Features: use geographical and topographical features to delineate ward boundaries while keeping wards compact and easy to understand; and,
  • Community or Diversity of Interests: as far as possible, ward boundaries should be drawn around recognized settlement areas, traditional neighbourhoods and community groupings – not through them

Current Council and Ward Structure

Tecumseh’s Council is comprised of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and five (5) councillors.

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor are elected at large and represent Tecumseh on Essex County Council.

Ward 1 is represented by two (2) councillors. Wards 2, 3 and 4 are each represented by one (1) councillor.

Existing Ward Boundaries Map

Project Timeline

Phase 1 Background research, stakeholder interviews, data analysis (June-July)
Phase 2 Develop detailed options report for public consultation (August-September)
Phase 3 Community consultation and public outreach (September-October)
Phase 4 Review public feedback and prepare final report to Town Council  with preferred options (November-December)

Preliminary Ward Boundary and Council Structure Options

The preliminary options were presented in StrategyCorps' Interim Report appended below..

Who is conducting the Ward Boundary and Council Structure Review?

The Town hired an independent consultant, StrategyCorp Inc., to conduct the Review. The consultant is responsible for ensuring that the review is conducted in an objective manner.

Tecumseh Council will make the final decision on whether or not to accept the recommendations from the Review. Council would have to pass a by-law to implement any changes to Tecumseh’s ward or council structure.

Comments and Feedback

A public feedback questionnaire is available at  Ward Boundary & Council Structure Review Survey

You can also email comments directly to wardreview@tecumseh.ca