The majority of residents in HRM would like to see a smaller regional council.

Fifty-six per cent of respondents in the CityThink survey say they favour decreasing the number of councillors currently serving at city hall. Another 36 per cent say they would prefer maintaining the same number, while four per cent wanted an increase.

HRM currently has 23 councillors — far more than other Canadian municipalities of comparable populations.

Mayor Peter Kelly said the topic has come up during the municipality’s public consultations on boundary review. But he warned there are trade-offs for reducing the number of councillors.

“Any reduction in politicians is ... considered to be a good thing,” he said. “(But) if you do go smaller, how do you compensate for that adjustment? Normally it would mean more staff who would take on more roles and responsibilities.”

Bedford Coun. Tim Outhit, who has been a vocal supporter of trimming down council’s size, agreed more staff might be necessary with fewer councillors. But Outhit said he thinks the main reason for reducing council seats is not to save money, but to increase efficiencies.

“I firmly believe ... having less dysfunction around the table ... (would) make it much more efficient and effective,” he said.