Tecumseh Council Settles On New Ward Boundaries

One Tecumseh councillor believes his council missed the mark when it comes to ward boundary changes.

Bill Altenhof agrees changes needed to be made, but believes a more gradual approach should have been taken.

Last year, the town hired a consultant to look at the boundaries of the existing wards and a proposal was put together to shift boundaries to better distribute voter numbers.

But Altenhof says there was some push back from residents and the plan should have been improved.

He says the changes he suggested made sense.

"I guess we can agree to disagree. I came in here with a new set of eyes and there was already process done. I'm disappointed in the result. There's no if's, and's or but's. The constituents have told me, look, we're ok with change, but let's take it at a moderate level and that's been my position all the way through."

Altenhof says the changes won't accommodate growth in Ward 2.

"Administration has already indicated that Ward 2 will grow 170%. That is not a pill I can swallow. It's too large an increase. It's just simply too large an increase. Could you imagine if you wake up in the morning and you're twice your size? You will not be able to get out of bed."

He adds the changes don't respect the town's history either.

"All of a sudden the largest ward, once implemented, will be Ward 2. That doesn't obey the history. History was that the old Tecumseh was always the largest entity. I wanted to respect the history. I don't believe it was achieved and correspondingly why I couldn't vote in favour."

In a 5-2 vote Tuesday night, council adopted the proposal that was presented in March without Altenhof's amendments.

The new boundaries will go into effect in the 2018 municipal election.

Below is a map and description of the new wards:

AM800-NEWS-new-Tecumseh-wards

Tecumseh's ward boundary changes for the upcoming 2018 municipal election (Photo courtesy of the Town of Tecumseh)