Consultants recommend Guelph have 8 full-time city councillors

Guelph city hall. Matt Carty / Global News

The City of Guelph says a consulting firm it hired to review the city’s ward boundaries and council makeup is recommending eight wards with one full-time councillor dedicated to each.

Currently, there are six wards in the city with two part-time councillors representing each, which makes up a 13-member council after the mayor is included.

“Guelph is in a period of transformative growth and change,” said Robert Williams with Watson and Associates Economists Ltd.

“We offer a bold recommendation to modify the governance system to ensure the city can meet those challenges and opportunities successfully.”

The city added that the consultants used a mix of research, expertise from those in the political science field, public engagement and feedback from council.

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The recommendation will be presented to city council during a meeting on June 21 at 6 p.m. Delegations will also be heard that night before a final decision is made on June 23.

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If approved by council, there is a 45-day period for appeals to be filed with the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT).

If there is no appeal or provided the LPAT decides on an appeal before Jan. 1, 2022, the revised ward boundaries would be in effect for the 2022 municipal election, the city said.

Click to play video: 'Is Guelph, Ont.’s city council producing ‘The Office’ spinoff?'
Is Guelph, Ont.’s city council producing ‘The Office’ spinoff?

A city council committee will also have to make recommendations in early 2022 on the salary and benefits for the mayor and council along with the number of support staff needed to transition them to full time.

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The city said the cost to implement the recommendations could be upwards of $540,000 including additional council salaries, support staff, offices, furniture and meeting spaces.

More information on the recommendation and the upcoming city council meeting can be found on the city’s website.

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