Does the Restigouche region need municipal consolidation of services to see progress in the future?

((This article will be continually updated as discussion and information comes up on social media where it is being posted. If there is inaccurate information it will be corrected, if there is important info, were going to add it. Were going to build an understanding of this subject as a community effort. Links to threads where this article was posted on social media will be added at the bottom of this post to keep track of discussion))

Municipal Consolidation of Services

Changes:
– Removal of excess of Mayors and Councillors and certain other representatives
– Consolidation & sharing of services.
– Re-structure of government on municipal level.

Pros:

– Removal duplication of services.
– Regional services be together, water treatment, police contracts, fire department, garbage, tourism, economic development
– Budget increases due to property taxes.
– Representation by taxation in regards to rural communities.
– Less Councillors & mayors and and savings on wages
– Access to new resources due to population size.
– More Focus on recognising and strengthening service hubs
– Smaller amount of politics involved could mean increased cooperation/coordination and efficiency due to lack of competition. 

Cons:

– Reduced local decision making capacity.
– Greater property tax for rural communities.
– Many Councillors & Mayors will lose their jobs.
– Smaller amount of politics involved could lead to greater corruption.
– Possible that employment in maintenance would be more difficult with much more area/tasks to cover but no hiring to take up the extra work.
– Farmers and those who live in the country will have to adhere to city by-laws
– Land owners who have large areas of land will have increases in land tax beyond anything previously set.

Titles and positions to be lost:

(the numbers that follow are not completely accurate, they are averages as wages of representatives varies from town to city to village. Perhaps we will get more accurate ones as communities discuss this topic)

– Chief administrative officers (There exists 7) within our region, one in each city/town/village. Wages estimated to be at 40k/year each (40000 *6 = 240K saved each year leaving 1 remaining.

– Mayors in region have wages of average 45k per year. If correct, and 6 out of 7 removed there would be savings of 270k per year.

– Average wages of Councillors is 15k/year. There exist about about 23 within our region in various towns/cities. If there is 23 councillors and 11 were removed there would be savings of about 165000/per year leaving 12 to manage the consolidated municipality.

The cuts in these titled positions would save about: 675000$ but there is others not mentioned here along with other factors like travel and expenses for each, all of which which would contribute to even greater savings.

There is a new document released just this week called “Green paper on local governance” ( PDF File ) which addresses many questions and concerns related to amalgamation as the province turns to this process to address the issues of communities all over New Brunswick and Restigouche region is no exception. In this document it outlines some of the opportunities presented with amalgamation and how they can benifet the people of these communities.


I have come across some stats related to our region which I will leave here as they could be useful although they are a bit outdated. Source

(Stats from Marc Savoie Allen and Paquet)

 

 



Stats from Marc Savoie Allen and Paquet

Active discussions on social media:


– Campbellton Forum: Link
– Campbellton Community Concerns: Link
– Campbellton Inquiries: Link
– Downhomers R Us!: Link
– Dalhousie Community Concerns: Link
– Miramichi Community Concerns (Poll): Link
– /r/newbrunswickcanada (reddit): Link

Current news related to this subject:

Global News: Municipal associates hopeful as New Brunswick launches green paper on civic
CBC New Brunswick: Rural residents say province’s local government reform will ruin lifestyle
Lexology: Reflection required following responses to public procurement Green Paper
CTV Atlantic: Amalgamation back on the table in New Brunswick

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