Re: Mainland cities show lower costs (Letters, Jan. 15)
What amalgamation does is make it easier for a city council to make million dollar budget decisions for a few that affects the property taxes of the many.
Big government is not always better. Large centralized city governments with no competition fail to grow because they are inherently dissuaded from striving to do things better. Or worse, councillors make economic decisions for politically expedient reasons.
For those of us old enough to remember, Langford and the whole West Shore languished for years until a business climate was fostered.
Amalgamation isn’t even a cost saving measure because our municipal budgets are mostly taken up by service delivery.
The only way to realize budget savings would be with massive staffing reductions which would also mean a corresponding service delivery cut to lower population areas.
If staff is cut, service goes down. Removing a few police chiefs and firing a few fire department heads is such a small percent of the overall budget, that it would be negated when the new chief did their new staff hiring to take care of the new work load.
Our current system works. It works because there is a real connection between small municipal governments and their citizenry. It works because multiple councils make decisions that are directly important to them and systems of municipal government deliver local services cost effectively and regulate local affairs much more efficiently than central governments could ever expect to.
Toronto amalgamated and they got Rob Ford.