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Is council about to shrink?

There may be fewer seats at the table if a motion is passed at Halifax regional council today.

There may be fewer seats at the table if a motion is passed at Halifax regional council today.

Council may reform jurisdictions and reduce the number of councillors to 20 from 23.

More power would be given to community councils, which would make decisions on smaller items, easing council’s agenda on Tuesday nights.

“To add a few thousand residents to our districts would not change our day that significantly,” said Bedford Coun. Tim Outhit.

There’s no word yet as to which specific jurisdictions would be reformed.

Purcell’s Cove-Armdale Coun. Linda Mosher said several residents have expressed concern about a lack of representation, especially in rural areas, if the boundaries are redrawn.

“And some people thought if we reduced the number of councillors, we would reduce costs because of fewer salaries, but it’s clear that it’s not a reduction because the work still needs to be done and you’d have to hire more staff,” said Mosher, who supports the reduction.

Waverley-Fall River-Beaverbank Coun. Barry Dalrymple said he tried to make it 18, but that idea was shot down at the committee level.

“I have no doubt it will be a long, long drawn out discussion (today),” he said.

What it means
A drop to 20 councillors would mean:

• A reduction of one councillor in peninsular Halifax.

• The eastern portion of the region will go from six to five districts.

• Areas of Sackville, Bedford, Hammonds Plains and Tantallon would require realignment for a reduction.

 
 
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