County governance changes on the docket in time for 2014
Last October, Simcoe County councillors rejected the idea of direct
elections to the upper tier, couldn't agree to reduce the size and
composition of council, frowned on the notion of a full-time Warden,
but did find common ground to make the Warden's position a four-year
term, elected from within the 32 mayors and deputy mayors in a secret
Currently the Warden's position is served in two-year increments, and
the current holder, Wasaga Beach mayor Cal Patterson, will have served
both when this term of office expires in December 2014.
The outline of procedural changes required to effect the change will be
on County council's monthly meeting agenda tomorrow morning. The
recommendation, which follows up on proposed changes agreed to last
fall, includes a provision for a public meeting to be held on March 26
to deal with the proposed by-law amendment.
"It would then be in order to proceed with consideration of the by-law
at a regular meeting following that date," according to the report to
council prepared by Simcoe County Clerk Brenda Clark. "It should be
noted that in order to effect the change in time for the 2014 - 2018
term of Council, and given that there is no regular meeting of Council
scheduled for December 2013, the by-law would need to be enacted no
later than the November 26, 2013 regular meeting of Council. If Council
was to reconsider its previous position to enact a full-time/sole
representation Warden position, a different process (triple majority)
would be required."
The other significant change proposed to County governance involves
replacing the current three standing committees with a general
government system which "would allow all members of Council to
participate in all meetings and become familiar with the full range of
issues facing the County across all departments."
County councillors are split on the change and the recommendation sends
the prospect back for further review, with a final report expected back