County council tables plebiscite decision

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Voters will have to wait a little longer before knowing if they will get a direct say in whether or not the county switches to a mayoral system.

Kings County council has voted to table the decision on adding a plebiscite question to the 2012 municipal election ballot. It is awaiting further staff research on the mayor versus warden systems.

Council considered a report and recommendations from chief administrative officer Bob Ashley about switching to the mayoral system at the December committee of the whole session. Council voted in favour of the staff recommendations but decided to table a motion about holding a plebiscite on the matter as part of the 2012 municipal elections. Council again voted to table the decision at the January session.

Ashley told council in December his report is a very preliminary review and much more legwork and research is needed. There wouldn’t be time before the next round of province-wide municipal elections in 2012 to make the change at this point.

The Municipal Government Act specifies once a municipality decides to switch to electing a mayor at large, it cannot go back to having councillors elect a warden from within their own ranks. Ashley said a decision to change should be made at least nine months in advance of an election because a move would take time, money and other resources.

Organizations: Kings County council

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