| Jun 11, 2009

Back to HomeEditorial - June 11, 2009 County GovernanceEditorial by Jeff Green

It is welcome news that Frontenac County Council is going to consider governance once again at their meeting next week.

After county council rejected a consultant’s plan for a new structure at their last meeting, they really had no process to follow and the lingering sense that the council was going to walk away from the issue threatened to create even more disenchantment among members of township councils towards the county.

Three local townships have endorsed one plan, and it is incumbent on county council to take that seriously - to either accept it or put forward something similar enough to have a decent chance of being accepted by the township councils.

Now that the idea of changing the composition of county council has been put to the township councils and been heartily endorsed, if county council fails to act they will make relations between the county and the townships worse than they have ever been. Those relations, on the staff as well as the politician level, are pretty poor already.

There is one more reason that county council should act: their current four-member structure does not conform to the Municipal Act.

Section 218 1 of the Ontario Municipal Act (2001), under the heading of “Composition of an Upper Tier Council” reads:

1. There shall be a minimum of 5 members, one of whom shall be the head of council.

County council has a choice: make a change or risk the embarrassment of being taken to the Ontario Municipal Board by one its own members.

North Frontenac, perhaps? 

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