Should Alberni city council downsize?

First-term councillor Rob Cole says Alberni could cope with four city councillors instead of the current six.

More savings, better workflow and more engagement are what downsizing to four councillors and a mayor in Port Alberni would do.

Coun. Rob Cole advanced a notice of motion at the Feb. 24 meeting, asking council to consider a referendum that would ask citizens to downsize city council from six councillors and a mayor to four councillors and a mayor.

Council will consider the motion on March 10 at its regular meeting.

Cole pointed to the District of Lanztville which is considering reducing its council size from six councillors to four plus a mayor.

Lantzville Coun. Jennifer Millbank said councillors brought forward a motion in February to reduce the size of council from seven to five. Millbank says the rural council’s make up is an “anomaly” thanks to its incorporation as a district. While Lantzville is the size of a town which only requires a total of five people at the council table, its geographic area and designation as a district requires it to elect seven.

Cole has worked on council with six other people for the last two years, and he’s convinced a change can work. “I think that a smaller council will be more focussed and be more engaged,” he said. “Sometimes more minds can cloud the vision.”

Lantzville has a population of 3,807 and covers an area 27.87 square kilometres. Port Alberni has a population of approximately 17,000 and covers an area of 19 square kilometres.

The move breaks from the norm and thinks outside the box, Cole said. “Just because it’s been a mayor and six councillors for all this time doesn’t mean that it has to stay this way,” Cole said.

The proposal needs more detailed information, Mayor John Douglas said.

“The more councillors there are, the more contribution to the discussion of ideas there is,” he added. “More councillors also ensure that the diversity of interests in the Valley are represented. We would lose some of that diversity with fewer councillors.”

As well, a referendum is one thing. What buttresses it is another. “If there is going to be a referendum then there has to be a full accounting of the background that would have to be considered,” Douglas said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

— With files from Nanaimo

News Bulletin

Just Posted

Overpass, barrier, more parking considered for Cathedral Grove

Provincial government proceeding ‘with caution’

Ladybird ends undefeated season with Spring League championship

Port Alberni spring basketball league ended after three weeks of playoffs

Port Alberni riders compete in Pony Club championships in Courtenay

Two riders earn ribbons at regional competition

Port Alberni contractor earns safety award

Mosaic Forest Management honoured 10 Vancouver Island contractors

Courtenay-Alberni Greens name Sean Wood as federal candidate

Nomination meeting took place June 15 at Hupacasath Hall in Port Alberni

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

Foot ferry service in Nanaimo won’t happen this summer

Island Ferries says it still needs to secure funding

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Most Read