"Give us the facts Ma'am. What are the arguments against
amalgamation with Newmarket. Sentiment doesn't cut it and fear doesn't enter the picture. "
The first thing to think about is political representation. The council would likely be the same size; eight members and a Mayor. Newmarket is half as big again as Aurora and assessment is higher. They would have a larger share of representation. They have a population of seventy-five thousand and a ward system.
Aurora would comprise two wards at most. That might give us four councillors.
Candidates don't have to live in a particular ward. They can run anywhere. If the Province contemplated amalgamation, they would likely consider extending boundaries north and east at the same time.
In Markham, Ward Councillors share an office and an administrative assistant. Salaries are three times as high as an Aurora Councillor. There wouldn't be much savings there.
Richmond Hill recently underwent re-organisation and created an extra layer of top bureaucrats. They have Commissioners responsible for each department. They do have a significantly larger population and geographic area. than Aurora and Newmarket combined. But with two towns reduced to one and boundaries extended, it would come sooner rather than later.
Last night, at council-in-committee, we had two regional officials inform us about a new regional re-cycling yard in Vaughan
They showed us pictures and talked about aesthetics, architectural design, landscaping and making it a happy place to encourage people dropping off their trash to come again. The project cost $5 million for the land and $3.5 million for the structure.
That's kind of thing that happens regularly at the Region. The higher you take government away from the people, the more sense and sensibility gets lost in the rarefied atmosphere.
A new town might have three representatives at the region . Would it make a difference? I'm not sure a regional Councillors represents a ward . Or do they sit on the municipal council as well as the region and collect two salaries?
I read in the Toronto Star, York Region has given themselves a 3% salary increase. I would never have known that if I hadn't been reading a Toronto newspaper.
Regional business is sometimes conducted by telephone poll. That's how a million dollar Tsunami donation to the Red Cross was decided. Last I read, it never even got to the victims. I think the Red Cross pocketed the whole shebang.
People would never have known if I hadn't raised merry hell. Not that it made any difference. The cheque was signed by the Chairman and in the mail before the public knew what was in the wind.
Toronto is an amalgamated city. I think they have about forty-five councillors and a population of millions. The Mayor has an executive committee that outnumbers the rest of council. If a committee member breaks rank, he/she is immediately dumped and replaced. The Mayor has the power. The Province gave it to him. David Miller doesn't strike me as possessed of Solomonlike wisdom.There aren't many about.
I'm not even sure about Solomon There was probably a spin-master in the mix somewhere.
It's not the only reason I favour smaller units of government. I think it's better to be able to look a politician in the eye and have a chance at knowing whether or not they are straight up. I think we need to value what we have and make it work for us.