by Edith Cody-RIce
After a lively debate, in which all councillors participated, a motion to reduce the size of the Mississippi Mills Council from 11 members to 7 was defeated at a special meeting of council on October 24. The mayor proposed a reduced council withmayor, deputy-mayor (who also serves as second County Council rep), and five councillors (Ramsay 2, Almonte 2, Pakenham 1).
The debate was lively and thorough and councillor Val Wilkinson brought forward a report showing that Mississippi Mills Council size was not out of proportion to residents relative to other municipalities. The proponents of the motion argued that the size of the council leads to longer meetings, but the opponents pointed out that the greater number of councillors provide fresh perspectives, diversity and depth of experience to the table and provides more connection points with the electorate, therefore strengthening democracy.
The motion had significant support however. It was only defeated by one vote – 6 councillors against, 5 for the motion.