Municipal Boundary Review Process
The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB) is required by the Municipal Government Act to conduct reviews of the number and boundaries of municipal polling districts and the number of councillors, this review occurs every 8 years.
Mahone Bay Town Council is currently composed of six councillors, elected-at-large, plus a mayor. Council will have to make a submission to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board stating what Council composition should look like in the future, specifically
Why does this matter to the people of Mahone Bay?
Because this process determines what representation looks like at Council, your local government.
Council will reach out to the public for YOUR opinion before making their submission to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.
How will the Town seek out public input?
- A regular newsletter feature about the review process
- A survey - please participate in this survey before May 1, 2022
- A notice will be sent to residents in April via Canada Post with information on how to share your thoughts and the deadline to submit
- A public meeting will be held on May 16th at 7pm so that members of the community can participate in a discussion about this issue
What happens after the public engagement segment is completed?
- Public feedback will be taken into consideration when Council develops their recommendation
- Council will make their submission (recommendation) to the Utility and Review Board
Independent Public Hearing
Once the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board has received the recommendation from Council, the Board will schedule and publicize their own independent Public Hearing in the community. This public hearing is an additional opportunity for members of the public to submit their comments before the final decision is made.
Once the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board makes their decision, they will advise Council, and that decision will determine the way that future municipal elections are held.
Should there be polling districts?
In the Town of Mahone Bay, everybody has the option to vote for any of the names on the ballot - this is what it means that local government representatives are elected "at large". The question is whether elections in Mahone Bay should continue to function this way or should people only be able to vote for specific people based on the area in which they live - this is what it means to vote based on a "polling district".
Should Mahone Bay Town Council be made up of four Councillors + a mayor OR six Councillors + a mayor?
The decision here is about what is the best number of people to represent the electors of Mahone Bay? What are the deciding factors for this recommendation? Generally, this is based on representation (who is sitting around the Council table? is this a good representation of the community?), workload (what do Councillors do? are there enough people to share the load?), costs (members of Council receive an honorarium, and there are expenses incurred for training, travel, etc), and how do the numbers work if there is a split decision. What do you think about this? Are there other factors that go into your decision?