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Govt considers giving business owners the vote

Government is considering returning the vote to business owners in municipal elections as part of an overhaul of the Municipality Act.

Michael Fahy, the Minister of Home Affairs, confirmed that discussions on the matter had already taken place with the Parliamentary Registrar.

The change, which would see business owners ‘complement the existing residential vote’, is being looked at as part of the OBA’s Municipalities Reform Review.

Pointing to the need to create a ‘modernised governance structure that will Bermuda now and in the future’, Sen Fahy is also keen to get the opinions of the general public on what they think needs to be changed.

“The Municipalities have been chartered for decades under the existing structures while our Island has experienced significant and profound political, social, cultural, economic and infrastructure development,” said the Minister.

“Until 2011, there hadn’t been any amendments to the Municipality Act since 1923. And in an effort to improve efficiency and effectiveness as well as increase oversight in accordance with the principles of good governance we must explore new options.”

In order to get as much input as possible, the Ministry of Home Affairs is to hold two town hall meetings over the next seven days.

The first will be held on Friday at the Wesley Methodist Church, Hamilton at 5:30pm, while next Monday’s forum will be held at Pennos Wharf, St George’s at 7pm.

“Ultimately, we are committed to gathering much valued input from the stakeholders and the public, and ultimately recommend a modernised governance structure that will serve Bermuda’s needs now and in the future,” said Sen Fahy.

“The Ministry is keen to talk to relevant stakeholders of the Corporations as well as to representatives within their organisations to gather information, views and opinions with respect to the review. However, I am encouraging feedback from the public at our town hall meetings this Friday and next Monday as I very much look forward to hearing and discussing their views.”

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Published May 15, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 14, 2013 at 11:46 pm)

Govt considers giving business owners the vote

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