There could be some shrinkage at Simcoe County Council.
On the heels of the Ford government deciding to back away from a review of regional governance models, the County’s governance committee moved ahead with its own restructuring and is proposing to cut the size of council to 21 from 32.
“The consultants felt confident in local municipalities to make the appropriate changes and put the ball back in our court.” said Simcoe County Warden George Cornell.
He said the big changes recommended by the committee is for county council to have regional representation.
“The way county council has worked historically is that it is made up of the mayors and deputy mayors from the respective municipality.”
Cornell said as best we try at the county council level to focus on county business, we are always wearing two hats.
As Warden for the last year and a half, Cornell could see the province had a problem that nobody was dedicated to the county business on county council, in terms of focus and relationship building.
The governance committee is recommending county council be made up of the mayor from each member municipality and if the mayor of that community decides they don’t want to be the county representative, then county council would look to the local council to appoint someone to that four-year term.
Cornell said the committee has identified five regions in the County, so there would be five regional councillors elected within their respective regions and those five positions would be dedicated to the county business.
“The 21 councillors would select from the five regional councillors who would be Warden and Deputy Warden.”
The recommendations still require approval by County Council.
If the green light is given, the changes would begin in 2022, and would be a four-year term.
The County of Simcoe is made up of 16 municipalities and does not include the cities of Barrie and Orillia.