Six councillors, mayor adequate: NSURB

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - It appears as though the status quo will be maintained when it comes to how many elected councillors represent Amherst residents.

Following a public hearing here Monday, Murray Doehler of the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board said the town will be able to maintain its present level of governance with six councillors and a mayor.

AMHERST - It appears as though the status quo will be maintained when it comes to how many elected councillors represent Amherst residents.

Following a public hearing here Monday, Murray Doehler of the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board said the town will be able to maintain its present level of governance with six councillors and a mayor.

"The board doesn't have any problem (with Amherst's application). We have to make a decision within two to three months, but the board will grant the application for six councillors at large and a written decision will follow," he said. "I don't think there'll be any surprises."

Municipalities are required every eight years to determine the size of their respective council and whether they are elected at large or through a ward system. Amherst last year submitted an application last June to maintain the status quo with six councillors and a mayor elected at large.

Doehler questioned town manager Greg Herrett as to the length of time between its application and a public meeting in April. Herrett said the town misunderstood new requirements and held the meeting as soon as possible after learning of its error.

Herrett told Doehler the town's application to maintain the number of councillors at six is based on the fact Amherst's population has remained relatively stable in recent years. Unlike other areas of the province, Amherst's population increased between the 2001 census and 2006.

"It's the intention of the town to maintain the status quo because the population of the town has not changed significantly," Herrett told the hearing. "The number of councillors per voter seemed appropriate and in line with other similar-sized towns in Nova Scotia and appears to be serving the citizens well."



dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board

Geographic location: AMHERST, Nova Scotia

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