Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Heywood puts a stake in the heart of MacKay Dunn's dreams

District Councillor MacKay Dunn resurrected his concept of a North Shore amalgamation which would include West Van along with the District and City of North Van.   Here are the links to the articles on his "zombie raising" before the concept was put back in the ground, hopefully forever.

Boulevard not for development, 2 Feb (NSN Letter)

Amalgamation referendum needed, 22 Jan (NSN Letter)

The first two letters show a reaction from the community that the over-development, the rush to build everywhere and make sure it is far more dense, a "toss the incumbents" mood that is starting to develop.  The old status quo Councillors protecting their fiefdoms at the expense of us all, have to go.

District of North Van pitches amalgamation, 4 Feb (NSN)

Together again, 5 Feb (NSN editorial)

North Van District and City still divided over amalgamation, 6 Feb (Outlook)

Should the two North Vancouvers amalgamate?, 7 Feb NSN Inquiring Reporter

North Shore amalgamation is but a dream, 14 Feb (NSN column by Gary Lautens)

Three steps to amalgamation, 19 Feb (my NSN Letter)

North Shore amalgamation - be careful what you wish for, 19 Feb (NSN Letter)

The Brock Bishop letter is quite interesting as it displays a hearty and healthy distrust of government.  Of course, Brock, we already have a fourth level of Government in between the Provincial and Municipal ones, that's of Metro Vancouver or the old GVRD.  But his point does provide something else that has to be acknowledged, amalgamation provides guarenteed savings but there is nothing stopping a newy elected Council from spending or even wasting those savings. 

Let's say the total expenditures of both municipalities in budget year 2019 (unamalgamated) would be $185 million but a successful referendum $20 million in savings was identified in the Amalgamation Plan.  New mill rates could be devised to raise the taxes to support $165 million in spending passing on the savings to taxpayers.  But governments are loath to every give money back to the taxpayers, they feel they've gotten away with a level of taxation without causing much civil unrest so there is no reason why they shouldn't find other spending to replace the cancelled spending. Nothing forces or binds a Council, not the previous decisions of Council, not an Amalgamation Plan not the campaign promises made during the election of new merged Council.

At least right now we can celebrate the burying the idea of merging West and North Vancouver and please all, don't even bring up Bowen Island and Lion's Bay. Unite North Van, City and District!

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