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Too many mayors spoil the N. Shore broth

Dear Editor: In less than two months, we will go to the polls to elect our next municipal government. The time has come for a serious, citizen-based discussion about eliminating the multiple bureaucracies operating on the North Shore.

Dear Editor:

In less than two months, we will go to the polls to elect our next municipal government. The time has come for a serious, citizen-based discussion about eliminating the multiple bureaucracies operating on the North Shore.

Our community operates three municipal governing bodies, employing three mayors and 18 councillors who represent fewer than 200,000 citizens, and whose cumulative salaries are estimated at $787,000 annually. By comparison, the City of Vancouver's one mayor and ten councillors service 600,000 citizens and cost their taxpayers only $750,000 annually. This estimate does not include the salaries of the employees who are hired to run these multiple bureaucracies or the operating budgets needed to maintain the bureaucratic machine.

Clearly, this situation is not cost effective. The response of our elected representatives regarding this issue has not been encouraging. The customary reply, "there is no appetite for amalgamation," or, "the city is not interested," is no longer acceptable. A cynic might conclude that the North Shore politicians have a vested interest in retaining the status quo.

If the municipal structure ever catches up with the 21st century, it will be because the citizens of the North Shore demand it. There may well have been compelling reasons 100 years ago to be separate communities, but if you were asked to design a municipal structure today, I don't think it would look like what we have.

I would remiss if I did not mention one elected councillor who is on record supporting the idea of a commission to study the concept of amalgamation. Coun. Doug MacKay-Dunn, representing the District of North Vancouver, has spoken publicly and written letters to the editor about this subject. Let's see how many more are willing to stake their political futures on doing the right thing for the taxpayers of the North Shore.

During these next two months, and beyond, ask your candidates where they stand on this issue and what they will do about it if elected.

Bruce Gilmour

nsamalgamation@shaw

North Vancouver

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