(ESSEX, ON) – The town of Essex is undertaking a Council and Ward Structure Review which will consider the process by which the deputy mayor is elected, the composition of Town Council, and the number and size of wards.
The composition of Essex Town Council and the process by which the deputy mayor is elected were established through a Minister’s Order which took effect at amalgamation on January 1, 1999. Council is currently comprised of the mayor, deputy mayor, and five councillors.
The Mayor is the only position to be elected at large. The deputy mayor is elected from among council members at the inaugural meeting of Council. Both the mayor and deputy mayor represent the Town of Essex on Essex County Council.
The municipality is currently divided into four wards.
Ward 1 (Essex Centre) and Ward 3 (former Colchester South) are each represented by two councillors. Wards 2 (former Colchester North) and 4 (Harrow Centre) are each represented by one councillor.
Almost 20 years after amalgamation, Council is conducting this review to ensure that the ward and council structure continue to provide a system of effective and equitable representation for all residents.
Watson and Associates Economists have been retained to conduct the Council and Ward Structure Review based on the terms of reference approved by Council. Public and stakeholder consultation is an important component of the review.
Watson and Associates will be on hand at a public information sessions to present draft options and gather public feedback.
The first public information session will take place March 29, from 6:00pm until 8:00pm, in the Shaheen Room at the Essex Centre Sports Complex, in Essex.
The second information session is scheduled for March 30, between 6:00pm and 8:00pm, at the Camoes Portuguese Club, in Harrow.
Following the public consultation process, Watson and Associates will present their findings and a set of options for Council’s consideration. Any changes to the ward or Council structure must be confirmed in a municipal by-law that is passed prior to December 31, this year.
Members of the community are encouraged to attend one of the public information sessions to learn more about the review and to provide input.