Consultation held in St. Anthony Oct. 23
According to information accumulated and presented at the end of the session, a number of different ideas were bandied about as to how regional governments should raise revenue to pay for services.
On this subject, there was little consensus.
Ideas included: a set fee/flat rate for all residents, different forms of taxation, fees for services, local revenue generation such as Chase the Ace, and giving Crown land to the region to sell, amongst others.
Various advantages and disadvantages of all municipalities, local service districts, and unincorporated areas being part of a regional government system were also highlighted.
Advantages included more and better services and access to funding for local service districts, equalization of services, giving everyone a voice in government, increased participation amongst residents, and increased commitment by volunteers.
Disadvantages highlighted included increased costs for services, increased taxes and fees, too many views and ideas, boards becoming too large to handle, and one centre possibly getting services over another.
There was agreement that local service districts and unincorporated areas shouldn’t be given the option to opt out of a regional government, but municipalities could.
The session in St. Anthony was the 19th of 22 hosted by the province’s Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment. About 27 people attended.
Per a department press release, the consultation process sought public input to help inform the development of a potential regional government model for the province.
The consultations ended on Oct. 26. Regional government would be implemented by 2019.
Municipal leaders take in the opening presentation from the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment during the regional government consultation in St. Anthony on Oct. 23.
There was no shortage of conversation and debate underway at the consultation.