By Kevin Johnson.
Update: July 12, 2016. Some of the information in the original article in the advertiser has been corrected in a letter from Puslinch Mayor Dennis Lever. Mayor Lever’s letter can be found by clicking here.
I found this article an interesting read as it shows the importance of how Puslinch will need to deal with regional issues over the coming years:
Centre Wellington is quickly becoming the growth hub for Wellington County, and they are concerned about their representation at the County Council. Puslinch residents should also be concerned. Specifically, the type of things we should be concerned about are statements from Centre Wellington Councillors about “Elected Wardens” and “adding more representatives from Centre Wellington [to county council]”, both of which would have the potential to reduce Puslinch’s voice at the County Table.
Councillor Fred Morris of Centre Wellington outright stated that “There is no way on Earth, this municipality alone can afford the cost of the infrastructure needed”. What we can read into that is that the rest of the county will be asked to contribute more for infrastructure costs such as “a ring road to address transportation issues” and “the potential of the county assisting with costs for the wastewater treatment plants” as asked by Councillor Stephen Kitras.
We need to keep a strong, united voice from both our Local and our County Councillors that smaller municipalities such as Puslinch need to be an equal partner, with an equal voice at the county table. Any further erosion of our voice would simply serve to fuel the idea we don’t receive fair value from our county taxes. More than 60% of our property tax bills are sent up to the county and the residents of Puslinch deserve a strong voice at County Council.
Some Background Info:What is a ‘Warden’?
The ‘Warden’ is the title given to the head of Wellington County Council. The warden is elected internally by the group of seven Mayors and nine Councillors elected every four years. The salary for the position of Warden in Wellington County is currently $91,202 compared to the $33,526 the Councillors are paid.
What change would an ‘Elected Warden’ make?
If the Warden was to be elected from the general population it would almost certainly guarantee that the head of County Council would almost always be from Centre Wellington. Centre Wellington is poised to have almost 50% of the County’s population over the next couple of decades.