Representing a ward could make councillors more responsive

I have been contemplating the necessity or appropriateness of converting our city into wards for our city council members.

I have been contemplating the necessity or appropriateness of converting our city into wards for our city council members.

There are many sides to this issue and comparable jurisdictions if you look at them in a two-dimensional aspect but when you throw in human behaviour, economics, politics and an ever-changing list of priorities, then you find a real need to consider this issue.

Currently we have eight people representing 80,000 diverse citizens while a ward system with four wards would see two people representing 20,000 citizens, which geographically would be much less diverse.

Electing two councillors out of a field of five would be easier than electing eight out of a group of 20.

Researching and determining your electoral choice would be easier and less time consuming.

Can someone who lives in an established neighbourhood understand the needs of a citizen living in a new subdivision that is suffering growing pains? It would be easy for a councillor to ignore or misunderstand an issue that plagues a neighbourhood they have never visited.

If a councillor needed the votes in a certain neighbourhood, that councillor might be more inclined to act on an issue or represent the complainant.

With the ward system it would be harder to ignore an issue in your area of responsibility while the current system makes it easier for a councillor to de-prioritize and ignore an issue.

So perhaps a referendum is in order or a study done to determine the viabilities and desire for a change to a ward system in municipal politics.

Garfield Marks

Red Deer

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