Sixteen? Nope. Eighteen? No. And not 20 either.
After more than five hours of debate yesterday, Halifax regional council voted to keep the number of councillors at 23 plus the mayor.
Council was tasked by the Utility and Review Board to examine district boundaries in advance of the 2012 election to make sure all districts are within 10 per cent difference in population.
The original motion was to reduce council to 20, but an amendment was made to reduce it further to 16.
“Let’s go big or go home,” encouraged Coun. Brad Johns.
Several councillors said a reduction would mean more work for them and less service for their constituents.
Sixteen was voted down, so was 18. Reducing districts to 20 resulted in a tie vote, therefore defeating the motion.
At that point Coun. Steve Streatch said he had no choice but to vote for the status quo because otherwise it would be “picking numbers out of a hat.”
But that doesn’t mean change isn’t coming: The 23 district boundaries will need to be moved around to comply with the provincial order.