County submission calls for mix of municipal, elected regional councillors
Simcoe County’s latest entry into the record related to the regional government review, requests the provincial government retain the existing two tier system, and support to reduce the number of councillors to include a mix of municipal reps and elected regional members.
While no number is attached to the June 6th letter to Minister of Municipal Affairs Steve Clark, it does suggest the Warden still be elected by County council, but the position would be “limited in eligibility to the directly elected Regional Councillors, so as not to pose a conflict with local municipal responsibilities.”
County council is currently composed of 32 members who are the mayors and deputy mayors of the 16 lower tier municipalities.
The “framework” presented to the Minister, was developed by the County’s Regional Government Taskforce chaired by Wasaga Beach Mayor Nina Bifolchi.
“As a result, Council ratified two key framework documents that provide some input and demonstrates the County’s willingness and desire to work directly with the Province to effect change as may be deemed appropriate by your Government,” according to the letter signed by Warden George Cornell, Mayor of Tiny Township.
The Taskforce also said it was open to “acknowledging that this is based on current available information, and suggests that the current delivery is either challenged, inefficient or not provided at the right level, or requires a more detailed analyses: Conservation Authorities; Fire Services; Land use Planning; Library Services; and Stormwater Management.”
Additionally on the table that “could possibly benefit from a broader service delivery review are Housing, (Affordable, homelessness, local non-profits etc.); Legal Services Long Term Care and Seniors Services; Paramedic Services; Roads and Infrastructure; Transit; Water and Wastewater.
“Simcoe County has proven to the Province that we are a leader in the delivery of many Municipal Services, and we appreciate your frequent acknowledgement of this. Like other regions in this specific review, there are varying specific local opinions and positions as well. Whatever the findings and recommendations of your process however, Simcoe County and our member municipalities respectfully request that you work directly with us, and present some clear desired outcomes or specific criteria, so that we can work together to present specific solutions that address these desired outcomes in a way that is as collaborative and ultimately successful locally as is possible.”
New Tecumseth is one of the remaining municipalities that has not taken a formal position in the review process, opting to “wait and see.”