Amal­ga­ma­tion is the root of all evil

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

RE: Amal­ga­ma­tion crit­i­cism not con­struc­tive (May 2)

The au­thor claims that to undo amal­ga­ma­tion would re­quire ex­pen­sive du­pli­ca­tion of ser­vices in the towns that were amal­ga­mated in 2000.

In 2016 alone, Hamil­ton of­fi­cials spent $40 mil­lion on con­sul­tants for re­ports that they usu­ally ig­nored. I think this money would more than cover any costs of de-amal­ga­ma­tion in all of these towns. Hamil­ton is now on track to spend even more on con­sul­tants in 2017.

This dys­func­tional city is just too big to gov­ern prop­erly. In ev­ery case where amal­ga­ma­tion has oc­curred, there are no sav­ings at all for the tax­payer. There are just no economies of scale from get­ting big­ger. In fact, there seems to be no fi­nan­cial ac­count­abil­ity now and city staff has adopted ex­ces­sive spend­thrift ways.

De-amal­ga­ma­tion has al­ready oc­curred suc­cess­fully in some ju­ris­dic­tions where lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties got their iden­tity back and con­tinue to thrive. The sky did not fall.

An­caster does pay a lower rate of taxes based on area rat­ing. We get less ser­vice and there­fore pay a lower rate but we still pay more than our fair share to the city, which is now re­ally on life sup­port and only propped up by sub­ur­ban tax rev­enue.

I would like the smug sup­port­ers of amal­ga­ma­tion to con­sider this sce­nario. In the near fu­ture, Hamil­ton gets amal­ga­mated with Burling­ton and Oakville to form a su­per city, os­ten­si­bly for sav­ings which will never ever ma­te­ri­al­ize. Hamil­ton loses its in­de­pen­dence and has a cou­ple of reps on a su­per board lo­cated in Oakville. How are you lik­ing amal­ga­ma­tion now? Carl Fi­amelli, An­caster

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