Two Sault Ste. Marie councillors are pushing for a review of the composition of City Council and the 51-year-old system in which two councillors represent each of six wards.
Ward 3 Councillor Matthew Shoemaker and his Ward 2 counterpart Sandra Hollingsworth are asking to be appointed to a committee along with Ward 2 Councillor Susan Myers, Mayor Christian Provenzano and City Clerk Malcolm White.
The committee would recommend an optimal number of city councillors and a geographic distribution that would best represent the city's 75,000 residents.
The following resolution is on the agenda for Monday's meeting of City Council.
The meeting will be livestreamed on SooToday.
Council composition/ geographic (ward) division review
Mover: Councillor M. Shoemaker
Seconder: Councillor S. Hollingsworth
Whereas since 1965 when the townships of Korah and Tarentorus amalgamated with the City of Sault Ste. Marie, there have been 12 city councillors representing six wards at the City Council of the City of Sault Ste. Marie; and
Whereas since 1965 the population of the City of Sault Ste. Marie has ranged from a low of approximately 70,000 in 1965 to a high of approximately 81,000 in 1980, and currently sits at approximately 75,000; and
Whereas the council of the City of Sault Ste. Marie last considered changes to its composition in 2002, which was 14 years ago; and
Whereas it is incumbent on the council of the City of Sault Ste. Marie to ensure both effectiveness and efficiency in all city departments, including in their own composition; and
Now therefore be it resolved that the council of the City of Sault Ste. Marie strike a committee consisting of three councillors, being Councillors Shoemaker, Myers and Hollingsworth, as well as Mayor Provenzano with the City Clerk as a resource to the committee, to consider and make recommendations and report on:
- The recommended number of city councillors for the City of Sault Ste. Marie; and
- The best geographic division for the recommended council make-up; and
- The foreseeable consequences, positive and negative, if a recommendation to change the current composition and geographic division is brought forward.