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  #21  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2013, 9:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ConundrumNL View Post
I don't like the fact that all involved parties consider amalgamation to be St. John's consuming all the communities in the region.

Why can't they do something like Greater London or the Dublin Regional Authority. Each community could retain it's legal status and councils, but there would a regional board that could handle things like public transport, fire services, water, and establish a regional plan.
I'd love that - and if it works in the U.K. and Ireland, which have the same bitter divisions between proud, old communities - no matter how small their population - it could work here.
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  #22  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2013, 9:51 PM
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I'd love that - and if it works in the U.K. and Ireland, which have the same bitter divisions between proud, old communities - no matter how small their population - it could work here.
This is what I mean by we need to not only look to Canadian cities to learn how to solve our issues but look to Europe because we seem to be much more similar to them and how they develop (of course to an extent but the issues we face with identity and development seem to be similar)
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  #23  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2013, 9:53 PM
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Well, if it's European and not Canadian, you know both of those are checkmarks in my book, ha!

I think we might actually be able to get a strong consensus in approval of Conundrum's suggestion in this thread. Could be worth a Letter to the Editor in the future.
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  #24  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2013, 9:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post


Well, if it's European and not Canadian, you know both of those are checkmarks in my book, ha!

I think we might actually be able to get a strong consensus in approval of Conundrum's suggestion in this thread. Could be worth a Letter to the Editor in the future.
ummmm EXCUSE ME .. I know I end up taking credit for other people (well receiving credit LOL) BUT I believe I may have mentioned this before, signal

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Originally Posted by jeddy1989 View Post
I don't think this will happen unless the provincial government forces it and most of the votes come from this region so I don't know if they will ..

even if some sort of NEA higher council or committee is formed to tackle specific issues such as overall development patterns, transportation, garbage collection, water services etc.

I think something along those lines with representatives from each municipality is more likely (even if it's more expensive)


Even if we could amalgamate some of the other municipalities ... just to reduce the number of municipalities
and I completely agree with what he said
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  #25  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2013, 9:57 PM
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It's okay for some of the smaller surrounding towns to lean a little more on St. John's for survival, but I think the real issue St. John's residents take exception to is how dependent Mount Pearl, Paradise, and to a much lesser extent Conception Bay South are on St. John's. There's no reason for cities/towns with populations of 24,000, 18,000, and 24,000 respectively to not provide the services a city of that size should. None of these places have a hospital for instance. Nor public transit, etc. They roll in to St. John's day in and day out, avail of the services in the city that theirs don't have, go home, and then complain about how awful St. John's is and how amazing their suburban hell is.

In contrast, the only real reason any St. John's resident has to go in to either of these other cities is the annual pilgrimage to the DMV in Mount Pearl (which I assume was generously placed outside the capital city to please some of the masses)

As well, some of the smaller services that Mount Pearl does have are there to duplicate what's already in St. John's. Case in point: when I worked with Service Canada a few years ago, we were forced to open a mini summer office of our department in Mount Pearl. During those long 16 weeks in the Mount Pearl office we saw literally no one. A complete waste of taxpayer money to front that office, but our boss told us that despite losing money they weren't going to close the office in fear that Mount Pearl and Randy Simms (their mayor) would make a huge deal about it. Just so stupid. And yes, your federal money paid for to rent office space in a suburb so I could browse facebook for 8 hours a day.

EDIT: that was for JHikka but you guys posted a thousand things in the amount of time it took for me to post this haha
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  #26  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2013, 10:33 PM
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It would be more expensive, I assume, to add this new layer of government - especially if council salaries are not decreased with their diminished responsibility.

But it could be worth it, in the ong run, to ensure smarter development and more regional cooperation - especially on core services. And it would definitely help alleviate some of the unfairness in terms of who is currently paying taxes in support of what.

And, if it is another layer of government and we keep our individual city/town names and councils... then it's easy to just name this the Northeast Avalon Regional Authority - no need to force St. John's on anyone.
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Last edited by SignalHillHiker; Feb 28, 2013 at 10:44 PM. Reason: I accidentally some words.
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  #27  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2013, 12:50 AM
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I don't know if amalgamation is necessary, and I definitely don't think a full-out NEA amalgamation is necessary. However, there are definitely some municipalities that could merge.

In any case, cooperation on key portfolios is CRITICAL. Whether it involves creating a regional authority which has superiority over the region's municipalities, it's unclear. Public transportation is the best example. We all know we need it. Everyone will benefit from regional transit. Mount Pearl resists. Paradise hesitates. On matters of regional influence, cooperation just isn't practical. We need one authority that can make decisions for all of the region. This competition for suburban resettlement is also a huge problem. We are all in this together. The fact that CBS and Paradise are not planning for the population growth, and instead, are just allowing any impromptu sub-division to pop up - it's unacceptable and ridiculous.

There is also a huge amount of political opportunism - why would Randy Simms ever push for amalgamation if it meant he would lose his job? He won't - Randy Simms is the most opportunistic/populist politician on the Avalon. He is irresponsible and in my opinion, a pretty big joke.

We are wasting huge amounts of resources and are hindering our own sustainable development by competing with each other and on the whole, we are slowing ourselves down by not cooperating under one single regional authority.

Another idea would be for Mount Pearl to amalgamate with St.John's, Paradise with CBS. This would give 2 large municipalities to negotiate on regional issues rather than the EXTREMELY unmanageable 4 groups at the negotiating table.

Finally - in terms of names-sake - many larger Cities, like Montreal for instance, amalgamated in the 90s, and it carved out boroughs (ranging from 25000-150000 people) and they are great with their own small community boards which take care of community issues. So it's not like "Mount Pearl" will be erased from history books if amalgamation happens... Plus, "Mount Pearl" sounds like the name of an ugly suburban sub-division - maybe it's good this name is lost? haha
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  #28  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2013, 1:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty_Mcfly View Post
It's okay for some of the smaller surrounding towns to lean a little more on St. John's for survival, but I think the real issue St. John's residents take exception to is how dependent Mount Pearl, Paradise, and to a much lesser extent Conception Bay South are on St. John's. There's no reason for cities/towns with populations of 24,000, 18,000, and 24,000 respectively to not provide the services a city of that size should. None of these places have a hospital for instance. Nor public transit, etc. They roll in to St. John's day in and day out, avail of the services in the city that theirs don't have, go home, and then complain about how awful St. John's is and how amazing their suburban hell is.

In contrast, the only real reason any St. John's resident has to go in to either of these other cities is the annual pilgrimage to the DMV in Mount Pearl (which I assume was generously placed outside the capital city to please some of the masses)

As well, some of the smaller services that Mount Pearl does have are there to duplicate what's already in St. John's. Case in point: when I worked with Service Canada a few years ago, we were forced to open a mini summer office of our department in Mount Pearl. During those long 16 weeks in the Mount Pearl office we saw literally no one. A complete waste of taxpayer money to front that office, but our boss told us that despite losing money they weren't going to close the office in fear that Mount Pearl and Randy Simms (their mayor) would make a huge deal about it. Just so stupid. And yes, your federal money paid for to rent office space in a suburb so I could browse facebook for 8 hours
What year did you work for SCCY?

What might come as a surprise is that I am against amalgamation. In all honesty i think that amalgamation would only benefit St. Johns and not paradise/mount pearl. As i have said before, regional cooperation should be used to establish regional infrastructure. Might come as a surprise but residents of other communities pay for access to the major infrastructure such as the airport and dump by agreeing to cost share on projects. The hospital is PROVINCIAL and is a bad measure of how developed a community is. If they can legalize some form of regional board responsible for major developments, transportation etc... then i think the area would be fine.
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  #29  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2013, 1:45 AM
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As most of you know I live in Vancouver where you don't hear the word amalgamation mentioned nearly as often. There is a reason for this, better coordination and cooperation between the munucpalities, and seperate entities of regional government. St. John's has only thirteen separate municipalities, but Vancouver has twenty-four, six of which have larger populations than the city of St. John's, and the smallest of which has only a few hundred. Translink, which administers the regional transportation system, provides transit for most if not all of these areas.

In St. John's I think there is some room for consolidation or amalgamation, but I don't really like the completely forced Halifax regional municipality as a model because it includes areas which have nothing or little in common with the actual city. At most for St. John's I would include only the more densely planned (or properly suburban) areas such as Mt. Pearl. Often, previously annexed or amalgamated areas in St. John's were included either because the city needed undeveloped land to expand or because a municipality was completely surrounded by the city (i.e. Wedgewood Park). Also, some of these areas were previously unincorporated.

As an alternative to amalgamation you could look at Metro Vancouver, a political body formerly known as the GVRD. Metro Vancouver has 24 separate municipalities or local governments, but also four entities of regional government. Every town or city gets to keep it's identity and a high level of local control, however services are coordinated by the following, Metro Vancouver:

"Metro Vancouver is under the direction of 24 local governments; it delivers regional services, sets policy and acts as a political forum."

"Metro Vancouver is technically composed of four separate corporate entities: the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD), the Greater Vancouver Sewerage & Drainage District (GVS&DD), the Greater Vancouver Water District (GVWD) and the Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation (MVHC).[4] Each of these is governed by a board of directors."

"The principal function of Metro Vancouver is to administer resources and services which are common across the metropolitan area."

Have a look at the wiki articles or official website for more detail:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_Vancouver
http://www.metrovancouver.org/Pages/default.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TransLi...tish_Columbia)

Last edited by Architype; Mar 1, 2013 at 2:02 AM.
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  #30  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2013, 1:59 AM
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Great posts, MrJane and Architype.
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  #31  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2013, 2:18 AM
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Originally Posted by mrjanejacobs View Post
There is also a huge amount of political opportunism - why would Randy Simms ever push for amalgamation if it meant he would lose his job? He won't - Randy Simms is the most opportunistic/populist politician on the Avalon. He is irresponsible and in my opinion, a pretty big joke.

We are wasting huge amounts of resources and are hindering our own sustainable development by competing with each other and on the whole, we are slowing ourselves down by not cooperating under one single regional authority.

Another idea would be for Mount Pearl to amalgamate with St.John's, Paradise with CBS. This would give 2 large municipalities to negotiate on regional issues rather than the EXTREMELY unmanageable 4 groups at the negotiating table.

Finally - in terms of names-sake - many larger Cities, like Montreal for instance, amalgamated in the 90s, and it carved out boroughs (ranging from 25000-150000 people) and they are great with their own small community boards which take care of community issues. So it's not like "Mount Pearl" will be erased from history books if amalgamation happens... Plus, "Mount Pearl" sounds like the name of an ugly suburban sub-division - maybe it's good this name is lost? haha
I agree with most or all of that.

I am also reasonably sure that Randy Simms could get elected as councillor for the WARD of Mt. Pearl.

Mount Pearl also used to be Mt.Pearl-Glendale (Glendale is the older area West of Commonwealth Ave).
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  #32  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2013, 2:26 AM
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I don't like the term "ward" - I find it sounds hyper-administrative.

I like to call them boroughs or preferably communities or even quarters (quartiers). I think 'community' is nice because it is a throw-back to NL tradition of communities and calling them as such. It also sounds pretty... friendly and welcoming. Then again we could have political wards/boroughs with smaller communities of about 5000 people just for the sake of community-building.
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  #33  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2013, 2:28 AM
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Originally Posted by jeddy1989 View Post

Also WHAT THE HELL was the St. John's Metropolitan board???? and what happened to it??
St. John’s Metropolitan Area Board was "a regional authority that provided municipal administration, development control, and services to areas outside of the incorporated municipalities in the region". There are no such unincorporated areas any more, therefore no need for the SJMAB in that capacity.

Last edited by Architype; Mar 1, 2013 at 2:39 AM.
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  #34  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2013, 2:35 AM
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My problem with amalgamation, which I use to be fine with, is that St. John's is not a well run city. The city has enough problems with taking care of their current residents without taking on nearly twice as many new ones. Reports commissioned by the city have said it wouldn't work well.

The Goulds amalgamated with St. John's over 20 years ago and they still don't have water and sewer services. How do you say to unserviced areas of the NEA that you are going to amalgamate with St. John's, your services won't change but your taxes will go up? I believe in Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove their mill rate of 4.5 compared to 8.1 in St. John's.

Some will say well just amalgamate Mount Pearl with St. John's, but Mount Pearl currently has much better services then St. John's. Why would they want to amalgamate with St. John's just to get worse services?

I think the merger of some communities could work, like Mount Pearl and Paradise for instance and Witless Bay and Bay Bulls.
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  #35  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2013, 2:54 AM
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Mt. Pearl has no transit system of its own, only that which is provided by St. John's. I think the time for amalgamation will become more obvious when developed areas like Mt. Pearl become completely surrounded by and therefore integrated into the St. John's areas (especially to the south) - after they are built and developed.
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  #36  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2013, 3:09 AM
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Originally Posted by mrjanejacobs View Post
I don't like the term "ward" - I find it sounds hyper-administrative.

I like to call them boroughs or preferably communities or even quarters (quartiers). I think 'community' is nice because it is a throw-back to NL tradition of communities and calling them as such. It also sounds pretty... friendly and welcoming. Then again we could have political wards/boroughs with smaller communities of about 5000 people just for the sake of community-building.
Is there really any difference except in name between a borough and a ward? Borough does sound better, and is most prominently known in describing the areas of New York which are very well defined historically. If St John's were to fully amalgamate its region, "boroughs" might sound better in the sense of providing identity - the "Borough of Mt. Pearl" does sound better than ward. To use "community" is a bit too vague or ambiguous, since in Newfoundland that was the term most commonly used to describe outports, and is also commonly used for ethnic groups.
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  #37  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2013, 3:38 AM
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If one community should be amalgamated with St. John's, it's Mount Pearl. Mount Pearl, unlike Torbay or CBS, is completely integrated with St. John's; there is no dividing line between SJ/MP. It is surrounded with no room to grow and will only become integrated further in the future. Out of all the possible communities to amalgamate, Mount Peal and St. John's makes the most sense. The only problem is Mount Pearl has it's nose so high in the air that if it rained, they'd drown. Also, introducing the Pearlies to the concept of an elevator might take them some getting used to
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  #38  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2013, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Architype View Post
Is there really any difference except in name between a borough and a ward? Borough does sound better, and is most prominently known in describing the areas of New York which are very well defined historically. If St John's were to fully amalgamate its region, "boroughs" might sound better in the sense of providing identity - the "Borough of Mt. Pearl" does sound better than ward. To use "community" is a bit too vague or ambiguous, since in Newfoundland that was the term most commonly used to describe outports, and is also commonly used for ethnic groups.
I do love "Community" - and I have no problem with us taking language that was associated with outports and using it in our own urban way. I think that's cute.

However, borough does sound better.

BUT I worry we might end up like non-NYC cities that use numbers for street names. I always roll my eyes and think, "Gurl... who you foolin'? You ain't Manhattan, b***h..."

I'm afraid us using borough would be equally hilarious to everyone.
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  #39  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2013, 10:22 AM
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I don't think so - the borough term is actually really common and used in a lot of City's, not just New York.

I am certain Newfoundlanders would never accept a street-naming system of numbering. haha

I think Architype is right about the ambiguity of community for administrative purposes. But boroughs are also known to be a lot larger than communities (more like a ward). "Ward" sounds like shit. haha Borough perhaps would be good for administrative 'wards'.

However, I think 'communities' are really important and we should more often support these kinds of organizations. For instance, we want to give residents of a certain area an identity - a "place" to identify with. Think about Georgestown or Pleasentville or Goulds or Kilbride, Quidi Vidi etc. These areas have really concise place-identity connections. Yes, they are historic - but that doesn't mean new places can't be similarly labeled for the sake of community-building.

CBS is the result of an amalgamation of 9 communities. They are oversized now, but some have pretty charming names that I would be happy to identify with - like "Greeleytown", "Peachytown", a new emerging name, "Cherrytown". If we can organize these communities with a volunteer government organization then we can begin much more sustainable planning at the community and neighbourhood scale.

I think being able to identify with a community is important for the sake of belonging to a place and larger community on the whole.
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  #40  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2013, 10:23 AM
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Oh, here's a map of Montreal and it's boroughs, just for interest:

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