London City Council

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For the former county council of London in England (1889-1965), see London County Council.

London City Council is the governing body of the city of London, Ontario, Canada.

Composition[edit]

London is divided into 14 wards, with residents in each ward electing one councillor. The mayor is elected city-wide, who along with the councillors form a 15-member council. City council meets in the council chambers at London City Hall.

2010 reform[edit]

Prior to the 2006 civic election, London's city council consisted of 14 councillors (two from each of the seven former wards), four members of Board of Control (elected city-wide), and one mayor (elected city-wide), to form a 19-member council.

The composition and structure of city council was the subject of two questions on the 2003 election ballot, an action initiated by Ward 3 Councillor Fred Tranquilli and his discussion paper, A Better Way, which proposed a smaller city council with 10 wards (one councillor per ward), plus the mayor elected city wide and the elimination of Board of Control for an 11-member city council.

While the yes votes prevailed, the overall voter turnout was less than 50 per cent and according to the provisions of the Municipal Act, the referendum results were not binding.

When council decided to maintain the status quo, a grassroots citizens' activism group, Imagine London, appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) to change the ward composition to 14 wards defined by communities of interest in the city, including a separate ward for the downtown core.

UWO law librarian and media professor Sam Trosow argued the case at the OMB for Imagine London arguing that smaller wards based on communities of interest would result in more "effective representation" for the electorate. This argument is based on a 1991 Supreme Court of Canada decision involving electoral boundaries in the Province of Saskatchewan (often cited as the "Carter" case).

The OMB ruled for the Imagine London petitioners in late December 2005 and while the city sought leave to appeal the OMB decision to Superior Court via a full-day hearing in January 2006, leave to appeal was denied when Justice McDermid released his decision on February 28, 2006.

In the 2006 municipal election, a number of candidates included in their platforms the abolition of Board of Control. Among them was Gina Barber, a member of Imagine London, who gained a seat on the board of control, coming in second only to the deputy mayor, Tom Gosnell.

Following the election, a task force composed of a number of councillors, controllers, and citizen representatives was established to make recommendations on governance. The task force held numerous meetings and public hearings. On the basis of its deliberations, it recommended that the board of control be abolished and its functions assumed by a combination of standing committees, delegation to staff and citizen groups and Committee of the Whole. The recommendations were placed before a public participation meeting and subsequently adopted by council in a vote of 14 to 5. Consequently, positions for Board of Control were not on the 2010 municipal ballot.

2011-2014 City Council[edit]

The 2011-2014 London City Council was elected on October 25, 2010.[1]

Mayor[edit]

Joe Fontana was previously a Liberal member of the Parliament of Canada for the riding of London North Centre. He chairs a charity called Trinity Global Support Foundation which has had its charitable status revoked by the Canada Revenue Agency.[2] On June 13, 2014, he was convicted of fraud, forgery and breach of trust by a public official in relation to allegations that he misused public funds in order to pay for his son's wedding.[3] He resigned as mayor shortly afterwards.[4] On June 24, Council appointed Joni Baechler as mayor for the remainder of the current term.[5]

City Councillors[edit]

  • WARD 1: Bud Polhill

Bud Polhill has served on City Council for 22 years. Polhill runs an auto repair shop. His wife Hazel and he have raised three kids in a small house in east London. One son has run for Council twice and a daughter serves on the Thames Valley District School Board. He also has four grandchildren.[6]

  • WARD 2: Bill Armstrong

Bill Armstrong has served on City Council since 1994, and is a paralegal. Armstrong's key concerns include building effective police strategies and maintaining tax restraint.[7] Armstrong also currently serves on the Community & Neighbourhoods Committee, the Covent Garden Market Corp. Board of Directors, the Lake Huron Primary Water Supply System Joint Board of Management, the London Convention Centre Corporation, and the Western Fair Association.[8] His spouse is an MPP.

  • WARD 3: Joe Swan

Joe Swan is the current Executive Director of Orchestra London and has held this role for the past three years. He holds an Honors Political Science degree from The University of Western Ontario. Swan enjoys golf, music and the arts.[9]

  • WARD 4: Stephen Orser

Stephen Orser has served on City Council since 2006, and also currently serves on the city's Community & Neighbourhoods Committee and Licensing Appeal Committee.[8] Orser's repeated social faux-pas while in office have drawn fire from other Councillors.[10]

  • WARD 5: Joni Baechler

Joni Baechler has served on City Council since 2000, and also currently serves on the city's Built and Natural Environment Committee, Council Housing Leadership Committee, Public Utility Commission, and Services Review Committee, as well as the City/County Waste Management Steering Committee, the County/City Liaison Committee, Elgin Area Primary Water Supply System Joint Board of Management, Lake Huron Primary Water Supply System Joint Board of Management, and the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority.[8]

  • WARD 6: Nancy Ann Branscombe

Nancy Branscombe has served on London City Council since 2006, and previously served on Peterborough City Council. Branscombe is a strong supporter and patron of the arts, and lives in London with her husband and three children.[11] Branscombe also ran in federal and provincial elections, and was nominated as the Ontario PC Candidate for London North Centre in November 2012.[12]

  • WARD 7: Matt Brown

Matt resides in the Hyde Park/Whitehills area of Ward 7 with his wife Andrea and their two young sons. Matt is an alternative-education teacher with the Thames Valley District School Board. Previously, Matt worked for several years in corporate sales and later joined the YMCA of Western Ontario where he held several positions including Senior Director of Sales and Marketing. Matt and Andrea also operated a small family business in Ward 7 before their first son was born.[13]

  • WARD 8: Paul Hubert

Paul Hubert has served on City Council since 2006, and is the Executive Director of Pathways Skill Development & Placement Centre, an organization that assists Londoners in returning to employment. Hubert and his wife have lived in Ward 8 since 1999, and have three children. Hubert has experience in economic development, business planning, leadership, and human resource development.[14]

  • WARD 9: Dale Henderson

Born in London in 1946, Dale attended Tecumseh public school, South secondary school and in 1970 graduated from the University of Waterloo with an electrical engineering degree. For 31 years, Dale owned and managed D.G. Henderson & Associates Ltd., a London company that custom designed and manufactured electronics and computer control equipment software and hardware systems. Dale has served as vice president of the Mission Services of London; he was a member of the advisory board for the School of Technology at Fanshawe College, a board member of the London Rotary Club, and was nominated by Ernst & Young for the 1995 Entrepreneur of the Year award. Dale is married to Kathleen. His former wife Nora died a few years ago. His children with Nora are Todd and Lisa. Dale has two grandchildren.[15]

  • WARD 10: Paul Van Meerbergen

Business Development Manager at Lamko Tool & Mold Inc. and father of four. Paul ran on a platform of freezing property taxes.[16] On council he has been criticized for backing the development of reservoir hill[17] and being the only politician refusing to participate in a councillor survey about citizen engagement.[18] He later wrote the organizer of the survey "It is not your job to demand accountability on civic responses from councillors." [19]

  • WARD 11: Denise Brown

Denise Brown has served on City Council since 2010, and has been the Corporate Sales Manager for Aboutown cabs for the past 21 years. She graduated with a degree in Transportation and Business Management from Humber College. She has identified her main concerns as taxes and job creation.[20]

  • WARD 12: Harold Usher

Harold Usher is the first and only person of African/Caribbean ancestry or African Diaspora, to be elected to London City Council. He is a 1972 Civil Engineering graduate of Concordia University in Montreal. He worked for Bell Canada, in various Engineering/Management roles and levels for 24 years. He is also a Distinguished Toastmaster, an author, an inspirational speaker and human resources development trainer. He is the co-author of “PROSTATE! PROSTATE! PROSTATE! A Problem of Men”.[21]

  • WARD 13: Judy Bryant

Judy Bryant joined Municipal Politics in 2003, when she was elected as Councillor of Ward 1, under the former ward system. She was re-elected in 2006 and again in 2010. Having grown up in Christchurch, New Zealand, Judy started her career as an Architectural Technician. In 1976, she moved first to the U.S. and later to Canada where she pursued a Bachelors Degree in Architecture at The University of Toronto. In 1996, she and her husband Murray moved to London. Judy became actively involved with the Urban League and quickly learned about the key issues effecting London and its communities.[22]

  • WARD 14: Sandy White

Sandy White was first elected as councillor of ward five in the 2003-2006 term. She was defeated by Judy Bryant in 2006 only to return to council in 2010-2014 term, this time in ward 14.

Former councils[edit]

2007-2010[23]
Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best
Controller Tom GOSNELL
Controller Gina BARBER
Controller Bud POLHILL
Controller Gord HUME
Ward Councillor
1 Roger CARANCI
2 Bill ARMSTRONG
3 Bernie MacDONALD
4 Stephen ORSER
5 Joni BAECHLER
6 Nancy Ann BRANSCOMBE
7 Walter G LONC
8 Paul HUBERT
9 Susan EAGLE
10 Paul Van MEERBERGEN
11 David WINNINGER
12 Harold USHER
13 Judy BRYANT
14 Cheryl MILLER
2004-2006[24]
Mayor ANNE MARIE DeCICCO
Controller TOM GOSNELL
Controller RUSS MONTEITH
Controller BUD POLHILL
Controller GORD HUME
Ward Councillor
1 Ab A CHAHBAR

JUDY BRYANT

2 JONI BAECHLER

ROB ALDER

3 BERNIE MacDONALD

FRED TRANQUILLI

4 Bill ARMSTRONG

ROGER CARANCI

5 CHERYL MILLER

SANDY WHITE

6 DAVID WINNINGER

HAROLD USHER

7 SUSAN EAGLE

PAUL VAN MEERBERGEN

2001-2003[25]
Mayor Anne Marie DECICCO
Controller Russ MONTEITH
Controller Bud POLHILL
Controller Gord HUME
Controller Joe SWAN
Ward Councillor
1 Sandy LEVIN

Ab CHAHBAR

2 Rob ALDER

Joni BAECHLER

3 Bernie MacDONALD

Fred TRANQUILLI

4 Roger CARANCI

Bill ARMSTRONG

5 Cheryl MILLER

Gary WILLIAMS

6 Harold USHER

David WINNINGER

7 Susan EAGLE

Ed CORRIGAN

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.london.ca/Elections/pdfs/2010results.pdf
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "London, Ont., Mayor Joe Fontana guilty of fraud, forgery". Toronto Star. June 13, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2014. 
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ Mahoney, Patrick (June 24, 2014). "London city councillors vote for interim mayor". London Free Press. Retrieved June 24, 2014. 
  6. ^ http://www.budpolhill.ca
  7. ^ http://pbdba.lfpress.com/cgi-bin/publish.cgi?p=158725&s=civic_wards
  8. ^ a b c http://www.london.ca/Newsroom/PDFs/Committee_Appointments_Dec_10_2.pdf
  9. ^ http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=44908119
  10. ^ http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2012/05/03/19713946.html
  11. ^ http://www.nanbran.com/nancys-bio.htm
  12. ^ http://www.ontariopc.com/news/nancy-branscombe-nominated-as-ontario-pc-candidate-for-london-north-centre-lets-rebuild-our-economic-engine-and-create-jobs/
  13. ^ http://www.matthewbrown.ca/index.php/about-matt
  14. ^ http://www.paulhubert.ca/about/
  15. ^ http://dalehenderson.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=46&Itemid=53
  16. ^ http://test.lfpress.com/news/london/2009/12/09/12094141.html
  17. ^ http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2011/09/12/18675941.html
  18. ^ http://www.lfpress.com/2012/10/02/all-but-one-city-politician-answers-citizen-survey
  19. ^ http://ldnccreportcard.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/paul-van-meerbergen/
  20. ^ http://www.londoncommunitynews.com/news-story/1345455-meet-your-new-councillors-denise-brown/
  21. ^ http://www.haroldusher.com/about.html
  22. ^ http://www.judybryant.ca/about-judy.html
  23. ^ http://www.london.ca/Elections/pdfs/Official_Election_Results_2006.pdf
  24. ^ http://www.london.ca/city-hall/elections/Documents/2003-Official-Statement-Votes.pdf
  25. ^ http://www.london.ca/city-hall/elections/voter-info/Documents/2000results.pdf

External links[edit]