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Cumberland County to see huge electoral change next October

["Councillor's Corner with Don Fletcher"]
Councillor's Corner with Don Fletcher

Councillor's Corner with Don Fletcher

On Nov. 4, we held a special council to deal with governance, mayor versus warden and council size.

After a presentation from the planning department, that worked on the governance issue for the past year, each councillor was asked to speak on mayor versus warden.

Folks, if the utility and review board approves our decision the Municipality of Cumberland will have a historic change for the next municipal election in 2020. Council with a recorded vote, voted 7-4, two councillors absent, to have a mayor versus warden for the first time in history. This means that every eligible voter in Cumberland will vote for a mayor replacing the current warden system.

According to the Stantec report from 2015 and the recent report done by staff this is what the public wanted.

Once approved the system cannot be reversed so no more warden.

Of 21 rural municipalities included in the report five have mayors and the rest have a warden. Only time will tell if council made the right decision.

On council size again we went to each councillor and the presentation recommended a council size of between eight and 10. The outcome was six voted for a council of eight, one voted for a council of nine and four voted for a council of 10.

So again, if UARB approve we will have a council of eight councillors after 2020.

As Cumberland is the largest county in the province, I see a challenge for the rural areas to maintain representation going forward. At present my district,10 is the largest within the county and second largest within the province, so the change of boundaries should be interesting.

That is the next process that will be taken by planning.

For those interested I voted for a warden and council of 10 as this is what was there when I was first elected and since then we have added Springhill and Parrsboro to the municipality.

Switching to eight could be a challenge. Citizens need to hold their councillors accountable and become more engaged. My thoughts only.

Question: “Have you considered running for mayor or councillor? Start thinking!

Coun. Don Fletcher represents District10 on Cumberland municipal council.

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