In the ’70s and ’80s it was amalgamation, in the ’90s it was restructuring, now it’s governance review. I know some of the people who are trying to reinitiate this issue and think very highly of them. However, I feel that although their intent is well founded, they are using some misleading information to make the case for amalgamation. Many indicated that numerous councils and the regional directors are costing us too much. Be aware, elected officials stipends are a very small portion of the overall budgets.
The alternative may actually be more expensive.
Amalgamated, our population will be big enough that it might warrant more councillors at higher remunerations.
More importantly is what will happen with senior staff in the new entity.
Currently there are four chief administration officers. Do we really believe that any of them would be let go? I don’t think so. More likely than not an executive director would be put in place to oversee them.
This would happen in every department which would drastically increase those costs. Add higher police costs and a full time fire department and the cost escalates.
As to governance, the proponents seem to think that the same or even different people at a different table would be more productive. The opposite will occur.
The same issues will continue to plague us, but the more powerful community will continue to prevail.
Amalgamation will only be democratic if they first hold a plebiscite to see if the community is even interested. If they are, only then, should a study be commissioned and with full knowledge to go by, hold a referendum.
That way the electorate have been involved at all levels. Determine the numbers, decide if the outcome is beneficial to your individual community and cast your ballot accordingly.
DW (Don) Davis