Longview will not add council members
Wednesday, Mar 08, 2017 11:43 am
Representation at Longview’s council table will remain as is for the upcoming municipal election, despite suggestions it should change.
Earlier this year, Longview Village council considered increasing the number of seats on council from three to five and having an elected mayor. The mayor is now appointed by council members, who have each taken a turn in the position.
The idea of increasing council representation was initially brought to Coun. Carole MacLeod, who said in an earlier interview that some residents thought a larger council could better represent the public.
The idea had also come up in discussions with residents in the community in recent months.
Longview Mayor Kathie Wight said feedback during discussions and two open houses showed the majority preferred to keep things as they are. About two-dozen people attended a Jan. 10 open house and another five people who didn’t attend the first meeting were present at the Feb. 7 open house, Wight said.
“We’ve been talking to residents on-and-off since this last spring and with the two open houses it was fairly certain that nobody was really of the opinion that this was the thing to do right now,” she said. “We decided it wasn’t a good idea at this time.”
The decision was made fairly quickly at council’s Jan. 21 meeting, said Wight. If council did decide to increase its members to five it would cost the Village $3,000 annually to pay for training, workshops and attendance at meetings.
“It would cost money if we went up to the five and we didn’t want to do that,” she said. “We are just going to leave it as the three councilors and (they) will pick the mayor between them.”
Wight said some residents suggested having the mayor elected, but it wasn’t a popular opinion.
“I didn’t talk to anyone that was in favour of electing a mayor,” she said. “The majority of the public thought, just leave it the way it is now. They can change it in the future if they want to go that route.”
Wight said many people in attendance questioned why council is considering the change.
“We just said it was brought up so we were exploring the possibility,” she said.
Wight said council had until the end of April to make a decision if changes were to take place for this fall’s municipal election.
“With most changes in government there’s a timeline so we were running out of time to do it before the next election,” she said. “In the future if they want to do it, it would have to be for the next election (2021).”