Calls to increase the council's number of elected representatives to nine have been backed by three former councillors who served under Warrnambool's old ward system.
In a joint letter to the editor, Jack Daffy, Les Hawkins and John O'Brien said they supported the idea of expanding the number of councillors after the idea was raised last week by former city manager Vern Robson.
They say it would prevent a repeat of last week's "undesirable" election result which saw a clean sweep of city hall with only first-time councillors being successful.
This population increase warrants a change in the level of representations from councillors.Former councillors
A state government spokeswoman said there were plans to change Warrnambool's unsubdivided structure into wards for the 2024 election, but just how many wards there would be won't be confirmed until a review by an independent panel.
The independent Local Government Electoral Representation Advisory Panel - made up of the Victorian Electoral Commission and other members appointed by Local Government Minister Sean Leane - will soon be set up to work with the community on the review.
The panel will make recommendations to the minister on the ward boundaries and names.
The former councillors say with Warrnambool's population to grow to 37,500 by 2024, it is time to consider increasing the number of councillors to nine while dividing the municipality into three wards.
"This population increase warrants a change in the level of representation from councillors from the present approved level of seven to a suggested new level of nine councillors," they say.
With nine councillors, they say it makes sense to divide the municipality into three wards - east, central and west - with three councillors to be elected in each.
"The ward system would better ensure continuity of council knowledge across elections and would hopefully act to eliminate a repetition of the recent undesirable Warrnambool situation of a totally new council being elected as the consequence of some undesirable events," they say.
Prior to amalgamation in the 1990s, the city of Warrnambool had 12 councillors who were elected from four wards with three councillors in each - but a third would either retire or be up for reelection every year.
The three former councillors say this system ensured there was continuity of knowledge, and there were few informal votes. This year, informal votes accounted for about nine per cent - around 2000 votes - but they say a ward structure would reduce that to two per cent.
The ward structure, they say, allowed for votes to be counted quicker and gave potential candidates an opportunity every year to put themselves up for election in any of the wards.
"It is now timely for our newly elected council, after consultation with the community, to review the potential to introduce an improved electoral structure in time for the 2024 elections," they say.
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