Tillsonburg seeks two county representatives

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Given the changes in Oxford County population, and feedback from a recently completed Oxford County council composition survey, Tillsonburg Council is once again requesting two Tillsonburg county representatives, as well as a changing the election process to elect a county warden every four years.

Tillsonburg, with a population approaching 17,000, currently has one representative at Oxford County council, a number established in 1975 when the town had a population of 5,500. The town’s population is expected to grow to 17,500 by 2022.

Oxford recently completed a seven-question community survey, with the intent of providing feedback for a report and recommendations for county council. A final report will be submitted to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and any changes would take effect at the beginning of the 2023-2027 council term.

“I will wholeheartedly support this resolution,” said Coun. Deb Gilvesy at Tillsonburg’s Sept. 28 virtual council meeting. “The survey identified the need for an extra representative from Tillsonburg. And also identified electing a warden, which I think is a great idea because it would engage citizens more at the local level. And I hope that the County really pays attention to the survey that was done.”

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“When we first sent the resolution back, it really didn’t have input from the community,” said Deputy Mayor Dave Beres, noting a similar earlier request to county council. “This time it certainly did. I believe that the residents of the community believe strongly that the representation needs to be changed … we need more representation from Tillsonburg. That shows in the people that have responded – not only people from Tillsonburg, but people from other municipalities that agree with us. So there is very little room for argument there to leave it as status quo.”

The resolution was carried.

cabbott@postmedia.com