Friday, June 03, 2005

The Opportunity & the Responsibility

The municipal issue of our time is inner-city decay and densification accompanied by sprawl. Somewhere between here and Athens, Greece there is a municipality ready to throw in the towel and re-invent itself in a model appropriate to the electronic communication age. Let's prepare London for e-democracy by cultivating an engaged and better informed electorate in appropriately sized wards..

Mircro wards are a throw-back to the horse-and-buggy era. In the geographic lexicon communities are broader than neighbourhoods. It follows that "communities of interest" encompass neighbourhoods. Neighbourhood issues are mainly NIMBY. Petty issues will always be there; let's not multiply them. Better that Council cope with regional competiveness, infrastructure and tax containment than internal combativeness.

Toronto, the country's financial capital, is not a model. Being locked into 44 neighbourhood sand-lots and lacking a cohesive financial directorship, it is forever in turmoil. There is movement towards reduction of wards, i.e. bigger wards and also creation of an elected-at-large executive committee led by a "strong mayor." See:

Council need not be panicked into doubling wards while making a token reduction in total council members. Look beyond the self-serving easy-out of 14 mini wards for 14 incumbent councillors. Even if it means debating a seven ward "strong mayor" council next term, the legacy could be exemplary municipal governance for the rest of the Century.

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2 Comments:

At June 14, 2005, Anonymous wolfvillewatch said...

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At June 14, 2005, Anonymous http://wolfvillewatch.myblogsite.com/blog said...

Came across Londont when surfing around for other blogs with a focus on municipal rather than federal or provincial politics. Much of what you say makes sense and applies to us as well so we will be checking back often.

 

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