10/12/13

Council Size Survey Results

In September, the Town encouraged residents to attend three public meetings on options to change Council composition. Paper surveys were available at those meetings and an online version was available on the Town’s website. In the end, 43 paper and 197 electronic surveys were returned—240 represents 2.25 % of 10,603 eligible voters.

The breakdown of votes is given below.

What you will see is that a majority of respondents in Almonte and Pakenham wards support a reduction in Council size (Q2) and an elected deputy mayor (Q3). In Ramsay ward the result is the opposite.

Support for a Council size change of some form was even higher when you look at Q4, where there was no undecided option. In Q4, almost 82% Almonte respondents voted for a change in Council size of some type. In Pakenham that number was over 86%. In Ramsay the number was over 43%.

There will be debate in public and at the Council table of the significance and meaning of the Ramsay results, such as:
  • Since one ward is against change, there is no consensus; so stay with the status quo. 
  • Ramsay ward Councillors must abide by the majority decision in that ward no matter how few participated. 
  • For Q4, in Ramsay 53 of 94 respondents picked the 11-member option—a vote against change. But 41 of 94 voted for one of the change options. That is a difference of 12 people. Can just 12 people—or 0.27% of eligible electors in that ward—tip the balance for the entire Town?
  • Hold a referendum.
  • Since the overall turnout was only 2.25% and even less in Ramsay, the results are not representative; so Council can do as it thinks best.

Survey Results

Q1. Identify your ward:
  • 109 from Almonte ward (2.69% of 4050 of voters)
  • 94 from Ramsay ward (2.17% of 4334 voters)
  • 37 from Pakenham ward (1.17% of 2219 voters)
Q2. Overall 60% voted yes to changing the size of Council, 33% said no and 7% were undecided. The wards break down like this (rounded to one decimal place):
  • Almonte ward: Yes 77%, No 16.5%, Undecided 6.5%
  • Ramsay ward: Yes 38.3%, No 57.4%, Undecided 4.3%
  • Pakenham ward: Yes 64.9%, No 21.6, Undecided 13.5%
Q3. Overall 49% endorsed having a deputy mayor, 36% said no, and 15% were undecided. The wards break down like this:
  • Almonte ward: Yes 57.8%, No 25.7%, Undecided 16.5%
  • Ramsay ward: Yes 36.2%, No 48.9%, Undecided 14.5%
  • Pakenham ward: Yes 54.1%, No 32.4, Undecided 13.5%
Q4. One the question of which Council size people preferred, 45% endorse the 7-member option, 32% wanted to stay at 11, the remainder were almost evenly split at about 11% for the 10 and 9 member options. The wards break down like this:
  • Almonte ward: 11=18.3%, 10=6.4%, 9=14.7%, 7=60.5%
  • Ramsay ward: 11=56.4%, 10=10.6%, 9=4.3%, 7=28.7%
  • Pakenham ward: 11=13.5%, 10=24.3%, 9=18.9%, 7=43.2% 


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