In the name of better governance in Qualicum Beach I am in support of a 7-person Town Council. Experience tells us that a full debate embracing a range of perspectives is critical to supporting a healthy democracy. The Local Government Act and the Community Charter see Councils as collectives in which excellent decisions flow from in-depth discussions and debate. There were times during this past Council term when there were just three Council members attending meetings; this meant a majority decision required only two votes. In our community, which is dealing with many challenges, having only two people making major decisions that will impact us all is not acceptable.
A 7-member Council will be better positioned to deal with the increasingly complex issues facing our community. Adding to the number of Councillors will also help to spread the heavy work load, allow more public access to elected officials and create greater representation for an increasing population. A larger Council will possess broader, more diverse perspectives and skillsets in the decision-making process for the complex local and regional issues facing Council. With the workload for each Councillor spread more lightly, a broader range of people may consider running for elected office in future.
Based on the legislation governing local government any municipality with more than 5,000 residents is entitled to a 7-person Council. Qualicum Beach’s status as a ‘town’ would remain intact - there is no requirement to adopt a ‘city’ classification based on an increase in Council size.
This past Council term when there were just three Council members attending meetings a majority decision required only two votes.
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