ELORA – Centre Wellington councillors recently debated equal representation from Fergus and Elora on the township’s Healthy Growth Advisory Committee.
Appointments were made to three different township committees at the May 27 council meeting.
Managing director of planning and development Brett Salmon said an ad seeking applicants for five positions on the Healthy Growth Advisory Committee proved successful.
“We received a number, more than enough to appoint five individuals,” he said.
However, councillor Stephen Kitras questioned why there weren’t many people from Fergus on the committee.
“I was wondering why the majority of these people are from Elora when the majority of the municipality is not in Elora?” he said.
Salmon warned that he had to be careful what he said with regards to personal information.
“We looked at people’s experience and the interest that people brought to the table and not where they lived,” he said.
Mayor Kelly Linton added there is one member of council from Fergus and one from Elora on the committee.
“We felt like that was important since members of council are the directly elected representatives of the community,” he said.
After councillor Bob Foster asked for a list of the applicant names and was denied, Kitras asked for a closed session. Council moved into closed to “discuss identifiable individuals.”
Although there was nothing to report out, Kitras made a motion to add another individual, from Fergus, to the Health Growth Advisory Committee.
“I’m concerned… because basically three quarters of the population is in Fergus and that is where it’s slotted to grow double,” he said.
“…There’s a need for representation from Fergus, from people who understand what’s going on there…” he said.
Councillors Ian MacRae and Steven VanLeeuwen said the whole township is the priority, not specific towns.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re in Elora or if you’re in Fergus, your first priority is to this whole township,” MacRae said.
“…It doesn’t matter if we’re growing more in Fergus or we’re growing more in Elora, the fact is we’re all growing together…”
VanLeeuwen said the township is more than just two urban areas.
He lives in a rural area outside of Fergus.
“I think we have to recognize their skill set only and recognize that they live within Centre Wellington.”
Linton agreed there shouldn’t be distinctions made between Fergus and Elora.
“I don’t think we make that distinction in any of the other decisions we make here … and I don’t think that’s the right path to go down,” he said.
Kitras’ motion to add a sixth member from Fergus to the committee was defeated with only Kitras and Foster voting in favour.
The following members were appointed to the Healthy Growth Advisory Committee, after the vote was carried with Kitras and Foster opposed:
– Kathy Baranski;
– Toni Ellis;
– Donald Fisher;
– Maddy Smith; and
– Steven Wright.
The following individuals were appointed to the Groves Memorial Community Hospital board of directors for three-year terms, with no opposition:
– Helen Bogl;
– Gilles Madore; and
– Richard Wright.
The following individuals were appointed to the property standards committee, also with no opposition:
– Kathy Baranski;
– Janice Sheppard; and
– Warren Ziegler.