Interviews: Q&A with Ward 3 Candidates: Benefits of 2 Councillors per Ward

Question 1c. What are the benefits to residents of having 2 Councillors represent them?

Candidate Responses:
Clifford Atfield: I like the idea of 2 Councillors in each Ward, but I see Paris as 1 Ward. If the 4 Councillors would work together Paris would be better represented.
John Bell: Interesting question – it appears that the practice of 2 Councillors per ward is not universal across Ontario and I don’t know the origins in Brant. Based on the voter numbers in the County Paris should have 40% of the total number of Councillors (so 4 out of 10). We basically have 1 Councillor per 2500 voters – the City of Toronto is struggling on whether to go from 1 Councillor for 60000 voters to 1 Councillor for 110000 voters! On that basis Brant would today have ½ a Councillor and Paris 1/5 of a Councillor!!
That all said I would personally prefer that we elect 4 Councillors for the whole of Paris rather than 2 wards of 2. I would rather have 4 Councillors as so many issues are common Paris wide. Also any Paris resident could call on one of 4 Councillors for assistance when needed.
John Peirce: Our County decision to have two Councillors per Ward provides constituents with multiple sources to approach, raise concerns to and support community positions. This also allows for different viewpoints and alternate avenues to pursue based on Councillor experience and provides the Council with options that may be limited with a smaller pool of resources. Although there is 2 Councillors elected per Ward, in reality we are a team of 10 Councillors working for the best interests of the County as a whole.
Myles Rusak: A larger sounding board for ideas and healthy differences of opinion can often lead to more creative and well thought-out processes. A strong Council is one who utilizes a host of individuals with varied backgrounds. Multiple councillors per ward opens the door for these creative discussions and gives multiple leaders the opportunity to amplify the voice of their constituents.
Edith Stone: Response not yet received.
Marty Verhey: Residents have 2 people to talk to so there should not be any excuses for not being able to communicate to one of your Councillors! This also means there are 2 ways to the table for any one in the Ward.

Go to next Question: 1d: What is plan to work with 2nd Councillor?
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