by Kathy Johnson
Barrington Municipal Council is going to be asking residents for input on the future governance of the municipality.
Council wants to know what people think about reducing the number of councillors from seven to five.
They also want to know how people feel about electing a mayor at large, instead of the current practice of a warden being selected from among the elected councillors.
Council approved a series of four motions at the Aug. 8 meeting, setting the stage for a survey that will be conducted on paper as well as through social media.
“I’m excited about having the people’s input and what they see as the future direction of the municipality,” said councillor Shaun Hatfield.
The Municipality expects to get the survey started within a few weeks. Residents will also be asked if they have any other suggestions on the number of councillors around the table. The minimum number of councillors allowed under the Municipal Government Act is four. A change in the number of councillors will mean a change to the electoral boundaries.
While the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board conducts a mandatory review of municipal electoral boundaries every eight years, the survey is a voluntary initiative of council. The next URB review isn’t due until 2014.
The question of electing a mayor at large is one that has been posed to residents in the past. A survey conducted in 1999 indicated residents were in favour of the election of a mayor. No action was ever taken however on the survey results.