A good article in this week's NOW Magazine on attempts to decentralize Toronto's political power structure. Good to see that TO's old warrior (ex-mayor) John Sewell is still out there raising shit. The man is a six-foot pain in the ass but there is no question he loves his city:
"I wish you good luck with having a speaker clean up council. It hasn't done much for Parliament," [Sewell] said. "What you could really do to address the problem is restructure the megacity."
His words echoed those of many at city meetings on the matter this year who have called for decentralization of city power to community councils or neighborhood assemblies, and, not always in so many words, a de facto reversal of amalgamation.
"The main problem of the megacity is scale," said Sewell. "The council is too big. The geographic area covered is too big. The budget is too large to be managed. The only reasonable thing to do is to restructure the megacity itself into smaller units of government."
Some good material on the role of "community councils" in the no longer new megacity. These are the "smaller units of government" Sewell is talking about, and it is good to see that people are still pushing to see their powers and numbers increased.
Bottom line: if anybody comes to your city and tells you to "amalgamate", so as to "increase the efficiency" of local government, club them to death with a shovel and dump the body. Toronto essentially missed the late-90's boom trying to dig out from all the problems this nonsensical idea caused us.