Rocky View County Council has passed a new bylaw that reduces the number of councillors from nine to seven, and redraws electoral divisions to better balance the number of people in each.
The Electoral Boundaries and Council Composition Bylaw takes effect for the October 2021 municipal election. Until then, the current model of nine councillors and the existing electoral divisions will remain in place.
“We last drew new electoral divisions in 2000. The County’s population has grown by 48 percent since then. Some divisions have gone up in population, and others down. We’ve also seen four annexations that have taken land and residents out of the County. It was well past time we revisited the division boundaries,” says County Reeve Dan Henn.
The number of residents in the current nine divisions varies from a low of about 2,526 to a high of about 7,010. The new divisions have population numbers that should not vary by more than 25 percent from the average for the foreseeable future. That average is about 5,815 residents, based on the new model of seven councillors and divisions.
“That number of residents is very manageable for a councillor, and it’s one reason we voted to set the number of future councillors at seven,” Reeve Henn says. “It’s the right number of people to do the job, and it saves more than $860,000 over a four-year term.”
A similar attempt to redraw electoral boundaries was attempted before the 2017 municipal elections, but didn’t get the approval of the council of the day. Reeve Henn has high praise for the current Council who passed a bylaw this time around.
“We had an external, independent review, including public input. Councillors voted unanimously for the division boundaries that came out of that process. Every one of our divisions will change for the next election, and there are political implications to that. But we did the right thing for the residents of Rocky View County,” Reeve Henn says.
To avoid confusion, Rocky View County will not be actively promoting the new division boundaries until closer to the October 2021 election when they come into effect. However, anyone curious about the new boundaries can find the Electoral Boundaries and Council Composition Bylaw at www.rockyview.ca/election.