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Amalgamation
(03-28-2019, 11:04 PM)tvot Wrote:
(03-27-2019, 03:02 PM)jeffster Wrote: 6) Ownerships (Kitchener Utilities, Kitchener Rangers, Kitchener City Hall) Waterloo, owns nothing of significant importance like this. The U of Waterloo remains U of Waterloo no matter the outcome.
7) Festivals & Special Events -- Kitchener has way more going for this than Waterloo. Bluesfest, Rib and Beer Fest, Multicultural Festival, Cruising on King, Christkindl Market, etc. I think Waterloo has the Jazz Fest, Comedy Fest and Buskers, but Kitchener does have more going on, especially the summer.
8) Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. The place is historically significant, and very busy, not just with the Rangers, but with concerts (Waterloo really has nothing), and Shows (RV Show, Home and Garden Show, Wine and Food Show, etc). Not that the name could be changed though.

6. Doesn't Waterloo North Hydro count as something if Kitchener Utilities counts? Waterloo also has a city hall, but it's mediocre and I would definitely approve of Kitchener City Hall being the seat of local government if amalgamation happens.

7. Jazz Fest and Buskers are pretty big, not Blues Fest big, but respectable and definitely a draw to out-of-town visitors. Living in Uptown I'm actually amazed how much is going on in the summer, there is something in the public square every weekend and Waterloo Park multiple weekends a month (medieval festival, afro-canadian festival, other cultural groups).

8. There are regional, provincial, and national sporting events at RIM Park and the Waterloo Memorial Rec Complex, not really any concerts, but they are respectably busy. The Aud still wins.

FYI: I'm just addressing these points alone, not really in relation to how things would play out if amalgamation were in play.

As a life-long Waterloo resident who worked at a Kitchener community centre in high school, I agree that in general Kitchener seems to be the better run city on average, but I'm not sure how much that will have to do with anything the province actually does to us.

Yes, Waterloo does have it's own hydro, though not its own gas company. A merger of Kitchener-Wilmot and Waterloo-North wouldn't be too difficult. Both utilities work for the cities. Cambridge owns none of its hydro or gas.

As for Waterloo City Hall, I was under the impression that they still were renting their current digs. I don't think everyone would expect that City Hall would be located in Waterloo -- and again, though, this is going to be an issue for Waterloo residents as well as Cambridge residents. I do know that Kitchener City Hall was originally designed to be built higher if needed, but unsure if that is still possible with todays engineering standards.

You're probably right though, if Ford wants to get this done, he'll just do it and make decisions without too much thought whether or not we want it. The main issue being the size of the government in this region, which is really large.

Councillors in Kitchener are 1 per 24,000
In Cambridge it's 1 per 17,000
In Waterloo it's 1 per 14,500

Collectively, just at the local level, there are 25 councillors, this is the same as Toronto. This doesn't include the region plus the townships. This seems to be the issue. But at the same time, these councillors only work part-time, it's not a real job like it is in Toronto.

I don't think amalgamation is the answer, but the region should try to come up with a better solution. But whatever the they come up with, people are going to be pissed off.
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(03-29-2019, 03:15 PM)jeffster Wrote: You're probably right though, if Ford wants to get this done, he'll just do it and make decisions without too much thought whether or not we want it. The main issue being the size of the government in this region, which is really large.

Councillors in Kitchener are 1 per 24,000
In Cambridge it's 1 per 17,000
In Waterloo it's 1 per 14,500

Collectively, just at the local level, there are 25 councillors, this is the same as Toronto. This doesn't include the region plus the townships. This seems to be the issue. But at the same time, these councillors only work part-time, it's not a real job like it is in Toronto.

I don't think amalgamation is the answer, but the region should try to come up with a better solution. But whatever the they come up with, people are going to be pissed off.

The number of councillors is not a problem here in Waterloo Region. As you point out, they’re not even full-time, so they don’t cost much. Lots of councillors means easier access to decision makers. There are various criteria for evaluating the number of councillors, some of which push towards few and some towards many. It’s a balance. In Toronto, cutting the number of councillors in half was clearly inappropriate — the number of constituents per councillor is now very high, to the extent that I understand the total number of office staff didn’t shrink at all. And it’s harder to staff all the boards and committees that need councillor representation in Toronto.

If more councillors means better decisions, we should have more councillors. Councillor salaries are an utter triviality compared to the budget they are tasked with maintaining.
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Are the Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge councillors not full-time positions?
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(03-29-2019, 05:47 PM)panamaniac Wrote: Are the Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge councillors not full-time positions?

No. The mayors and regional chair are full (and paid as such), but the city/regional councillor positions are part time and receive a small salary as a result.
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(03-29-2019, 05:24 PM)ijmorlan Wrote:
(03-29-2019, 03:15 PM)jeffster Wrote: You're probably right though, if Ford wants to get this done, he'll just do it and make decisions without too much thought whether or not we want it. The main issue being the size of the government in this region, which is really large.

Councillors in Kitchener are 1 per 24,000
In Cambridge it's 1 per 17,000
In Waterloo it's 1 per 14,500

Collectively, just at the local level, there are 25 councillors, this is the same as Toronto. This doesn't include the region plus the townships. This seems to be the issue. But at the same time, these councillors only work part-time, it's not a real job like it is in Toronto.

I don't think amalgamation is the answer, but the region should try to come up with a better solution. But whatever the they come up with, people are going to be pissed off.

The number of councillors is not a problem here in Waterloo Region. As you point out, they’re not even full-time, so they don’t cost much. Lots of councillors means easier access to decision makers. There are various criteria for evaluating the number of councillors, some of which push towards few and some towards many. It’s a balance. In Toronto, cutting the number of councillors in half was clearly inappropriate — the number of constituents per councillor is now very high, to the extent that I understand the total number of office staff didn’t shrink at all. And it’s harder to staff all the boards and committees that need councillor representation in Toronto.

If more councillors means better decisions, we should have more councillors. Councillor salaries are an utter triviality compared to the budget they are tasked with maintaining.

I agree. And I am unsure how it would ever work if we went the same route as Toronto. Toronto itself is now lined up the same as the province and federal ridings, which is 25. This area would only have 5 if we were to mimic. So you'd have Kitchener-Centre, Kitchener South-Hespeler, Kitchener-Conestoga, Cambridge and Waterloo. You could see how this would create major issues.

Although one thing, the SportsPlex in Cambridge would be built somewhere in Cambridge without all the bitching that is going on there now, Cambridge would also likely start getting taller buildings, and there would never be another Northdale.

I could also see the Sunlife parking lot by Grand River Hospital ripped apart and have a large auditorium built there to replace The Aud.
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