Originally Posted by GregHickman
It's a never-ending cycle. As Saint John forces people out, those people keep moving further and further out until the entire thing becomes unsustainable, which we probably hit a few years ago. The entire city of Saint John needs to be reformed beyond just tax and pension. The entire thing needs to be blown up and from that you can begin to rebuild. Bankruptcy comes to mind.
Amalgamation, as it stands right now, will never happen. Not when 75% of the outlying communities are comprised of people who used to live in the city and moved out for their own individual reasons.
It is not
a never-ending cycle, because cities have gone bankrupt throughout history. Longevity is not a birth right for any municipality – no matter how patriotic its citizens are, no matter how rich its history.
Saint John and its surrounding communities were unsustainable decades ago
; what is different recently is that Saint John is now reaching a level of debt where it is having troubles with interest payments, given that the city is void of density and therefore the necessary tax base to pay for what the past has chosen. I am saddened by the cut backs in public services for the city, because this will further contribute to the decline of what is actually remaining in terms of tax revenue. But in all seriousness – does it make sense to keep throwing money at the Saint John area when its own people won’t vote for change, and instead always throw their shoulders up in a moment of collective “nothing can be done” defeatism.
What CAN be done – not ‘what if’ – is to VOTE provincially and municipally for candidates supporting sustainable urban planning. Vote for candidates supporting tax reform, so that the suburbanites can fairly contribute to the city that hosts the majority of the economic activity.
If 75% of the people living in these outlying communities are from Saint John, then why in the world would they not support amalgamation and tax reform? They MUST in order to: (a) SAVE Saint John; and (b) save their suburban communities because without Saint John’s industrial and commercial base the suburbanites wouldn’t have jobs. Without Saint John, the other communities cannot exist – and vice versa.
Amalgamation in the sense of reconfigured political boundaries and names does not need to happen – but a combined effort by all closely interconnected communities regarding plans for future developments DOES need to happen; otherwise, you will not be able to develop at all in the near future.
There are many factors in Saint John that are forcing people outward: industrial smell, unfavourable climate, crime, degrading environment, etc... – I think Saint John’s downtown is a gem, and I’m glad to the see the recent progress in condo developments, but the success for Saint John does not necessarily imply density only, or mostly, IN Saint John. Density anywhere would be favourable; even if MOST of the population were to be living outside of Saint John, in one of the other communities, inward urbanism for more density helps the entire region.
It is not just the issue of these regional municipalities but it is a major issue for the province of New Brunswick, which must start doing more to better utilise its authority to organise our cities and towns so they become sustainable and economically profit-driven centres.
No more urban and rural sprawl for anyone in the province would place all future developments on fair grounds of municipal economic competition, while increasing every municipal tax base by establishing all future developments on existing infrastructure that we’re still paying-off in terms of its construction and are currently paying FOR in terms of its maintenance.
Are New Brunswickers not petrified about our province’s economic future?! Even Moncton’s current growth is ALL suburban, ALL unsustainable, ALL loaded onto the credit card.