Town of Kentville seal
Kentville wants to know whether town council is the right size for the 21st century.
As required by the Department of Municipal Affairs, town clerk Carol Harmes says, every eight years all municipalities are required to survey the public to determine the appropriate size of council.
She says there are arguments for maintaining the status quo, which is council members, plus the mayor. Harmes adds that the current workload is manageable when divided amongst the councillors when technology can assist.
She said diversity is represented by different perspectives, ages, experience and gender.
There are some arguments for reducing council size to say - four councillors and the mayor. Harmes says there would be a reduction in costs for remuneration and expenses, such as conferences and education, technologies, and travel
Reduced government, she said is the ‘less is more’ philosophy.
There are even some arguments for increasing council size up to eight councillors and the mayor. More diversity could add to debate, Harmes pointed out, reduce individual workload, or allow members to play a more active role.
A comparison of councillors to population served, according to 2011 consensus figures, shows Kentville compared to towns of similar size and to neighbouring towns in the Valley.
Harmes said Kentville compares well with towns like New Glasgow and Yarmouth, which have six councillors. The town’s ratio of citizens to councilors is 871.
Berwick, Antigonish, and Windsor all have lower ratios of citizens to councillors. Towns like Stellarton and Windsor only have four councillors.
Anyone with additional questions can call the administration office at 679-2503 or email Harmes at firstname.lastname@example.org