The Municipality of Killarney has used a two-ward electoral system since amalgamation in 1999, which brought together the original town with what had been large, unorganized townships. In July 2005, there was a realignment of ward boundaries, which extended the limits of Ward 1 to include properties on the Highway 637 corridor (which had previously been part of Ward 2).
In October 2012, the Municipality received a petition requesting that Council return the wards to their original state. In December 2012, Council passed a resolution defeating the request. Later that month, an appeal was submitted to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) claiming that the present ward system and councillor representation is unfair.
The Municipality received correspondence from a number of ratepayers, some of whom supported and some of whom opposed a change in ward boundaries, the adoption of a Councillor-at-large electoral system, and/or a change in the current composition of council.
In April 2013, Council created an Ad Hoc Committee to study the effects of changes in the municipality’s electoral structure. The Committee, composed of Councillors and staff, concluded its investigations in August 2013, and the Council subsequently accepted the Committee’s recommendations to retain the present two-ward system, but change the composition of Council to 3 councillors from Ward 1, 2 councillors from Ward 2, and a mayor elected at-large.
In October 2013, the OMB held a public hearing in Killarney village regarding the ward boundaries and electoral system issues. In November 2013, the Board issued its decision in the case, in favour of the Municipality. A copy of the Ad Hoc Committee’s report as well as the full text of the OMB’s decision can be found here.