Thursday, February 20, 2014

Boundary Expansion process comes to an end on Monday

You probably haven't heard much about it in the last month, but eligible Prince Rupert voters have less than three business days left to register their opposition, if so inclined, to the City's planned expansion of  municipal boundaries.

The initiative that the City of Prince Rupert has designed to expand the city's reach to include the city's watershed was outlined in the last week of January. With a short notice on the city's website advising that the city was going to use the Alternate Approval Process to move things along, unless at least ten percent of the municipal electors (903 voters) indicate that a referendum should be held on the issue.

The watershed expansion is the first phase, of what at one time was a fairly ambitious municipal boundary expansion plan, the remainder of which seems to have been put aside for further review. 

The key aspect of the Alternate Approval Process and the requirements to move it forward are as follows:

The municipality may proceed with the Boundary Extension request unless at least ten percent of municipal electors indicate that a referendum must be held by submitting a signed Elector Response Form to Prince Rupert City Hall no later than 4:30 p. m. on February 24, 2014. Elector Response forms must be in the form established by the City of Prince Rupert, and only those persons who qualify as electors of the municipality are entitled to sign Elector Response forms. 

The elector response forms are available from City Hall at 424 3rd Avenue West, between 9:30 AM and 4:30 PM today, tomorrow and on Monday.

Since the announcement that the AAP was the route the City was planning, there has been little in the way of discussion on the project in Council.

Suggesting perhaps, that the city's six councillors are in agreement with the Mayor on this particular issue. And most likely anticipate much the same voter turnout as the Airport version provided, which was significantly less than the required 10 percent.

Though it is interesting to note, that Councillors Ashley and Thorkelson, who previously had concerns over the Alternate Approval Process during the Airport Loan Authorization process , have yet to explain why they think it's a fine idea this time around.

With not a word of concern expressed in public discussion, over the city going ahead for the second time in three months, with a process that previously wasn't considered to be fair or particularly democratic.

Once the deadline passes at 4:30 on Monday afternoon, the next step will be for the process to be returned to City Council, where it will move forward. 

Maybe with further discussion on the theme of the process involved, or maybe not.

You can review some of our past items of interest on the  topic below: 

March 10, 2013-- An Expanding Prince Rupert

We have a full review of the events at Prince Rupert City Council on our archive page.

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