Shrink council: Watson

One of the top mayoral contenders wants to see a smaller city council in place to tighten municipal purse strings and to put local decision-making back in the community, where it belongs.

One of the top mayoral contenders wants to see a smaller city council in place to tighten municipal purse strings and to put local decision-making back in the community, where it belongs.

Jim Watson said as mayor, he would reduce the size of council and formalize city boroughs to ensure prompt responses to local matters.

“We have one of the largest councils in all of Canada,” said Watson. “We’re always talking about tightening our belts.”

A smaller council also brings local decision-making back to communities, he said.

Local issues would be brought to borough councils, which would consist of groups of two to four city council members and allow citizens to more easily engage in issues without having to travel to city council meetings downtown.

“There is really a disconnect between communities and city hall,” said Watson. “This will strengthen the unity of our city.”

Mayor Larry O’Brien said a borough system that won’t have the ability to make decisions about money and management would be ineffective.

“The borough idea is not the way to go,” said O’Brien. There is no real reason to have additional levels of complexity.”

The answer, said O’Brien, lies in providing additional authority to the committees. He said he doubted the city even had the authority to reduce the number of councillors.

with files from tim wieclawski

 
 
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