Ward Boundary and Council Structure Review

Status

Tecumseh Council at their regular meeting held on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, approved changes to the current Wards and Ward Boundaries in the Town, as well as to the composition of Council, in accordance with Sections 217 and 222 of the Municipal Act, 2001 (Act).

In accordance with the Act, Notice is hereby given of the passing of By-law No. 2017-22 being a by-law to provide for the alternation of the Wards and Ward Boundaries for the Town of Tecumseh.  By-law No. 2017-23 alters the composition of the Council for The Corporation of the Town of Tecumseh.

The approved changes introduce five (5) new Wards and provide for representation of each Ward by one (1) elected Councillor.  The new Ward and Ward Boundaries are depicted in the map below.  The Mayor and the Deputy Mayor will continue to be elected at-large.

Any person or agency may appeal the approval of By-law No. 2017-22 to the Ontario Municipal Board by filing a notice of appeal with the Clerk of the Town setting out the objections to the by-law and the reasons in support of the objections.  Appeals must be filed with the Clerk within forty-five (45) days of this notice, being not later than Monday, July 3, 2017.

These by-laws will come into force on the day the new council of the municipality is organized following,
       1. the 2018 Municipal Election and,
             a. no notices of appeal are filed,
             b. notices of appeal are filed and are all withdrawn before January 1, 2018, or
             c. notices of appeal are filed and the Board issues an order to affirm or amend the by-law before January 1, 2018; or
       2. the second regular election after the by-law is passed, in all other cases except where the by-law is repealed by the OMB.

Overview

The Town of Tecumseh undertook a Ward Boundary and Council Structure Review (Review). The Review considered:
• 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 was 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

 

Guiding Principles

The Ward Boundary and Council Structure Review was 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