Thursday April 26, 2012
Council on the clock as ward boundaries petition delivered
A community group pushing the city to take another look at its ward boundaries has successfully collected the 500 signatures it needs to spur councillors into action.
A petition bearing 680 names was presented to the city clerk’s office Monday, in time for consideration at Wednesday night’s council meeting.
According to the process laid out in the Municipal Act, councillors have 90 days to address the issue before the petitioners have the option of taking the city to the Ontario Municipal Board.
The petition was prompted by councillors’ decision to park a ward boundary review until the next council term. That’s after the previous council — made up of 13 of the same councillors as the present term — put off reviewing the issue until after the 2010 election.
The petition asks councillors to redraw its 15 wards to better represent Hamilton’s population distribution in time for the 2014 election.
“Whereas five wards of the city of Hamilton have in excess of 25 per cent more citizens compared to the median as of the 2006 census, we the undersigned petition the council to pass a bylaw dividing or redividing the municipality into wards or dissolving the existing wards,” it reads.
But Councillor Terry Whitehead says citizens will have to carefully argue their case if they wish to successfully challenge the existing ward boundaries. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)