Comment 69375

By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted September 11, 2011 at 13:48:11

If there were a way to reorganize ward boundaries (which itself would be a very contentious idea) to provide more balance between the urban/suburban/rural proportions within each ward, I'd be all for that. But it seems very difficult to do, especially in the western half of the municipality, where you'd probably still be left with several Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough wards. I believe I remember seeing a map of such a proposed realignment years ago - does anyone recall that, or who proposed it?

Re-balancing the ward populations is a good idea, but without changing the boundaries in a substantial way you'd still likely have a "Hamilton" wards vs. "suburb" wards issue.

Another idea I've seen floated about at times: what if the city were to add a number of "councilors at large"? People who are elected by constituents across all wards, who don't have a specific ward responsibility but serve the same role that other councilors do when it comes to discussing city-wide issues. Perhaps they could even be given responsibility for specific issues so that their portfolio has more of a focus - e.g. economic development, social services, transportation, environment, public health, public works, etc. I understand that there may be no appetite for adding to the number on council, and there is probably no appetite for reducing the number of wards to maintain council size, but this may be one way to help mitigate ward parochialism which seems to be one of the biggest problems with amalgamation.

Personally I don't see the province approving of de-amalgamation. But it's clear that there are more issues to resolve.

Comment edited by ScreamingViking on 2011-09-11 13:55:21

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