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Thread: Communities fight annexation

  1. #1

    Default Communities fight annexation

    http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/...f-16bdde9daa55

    Communities fight annexation
    Valerie Fortney, Calgary Herald

    Published: Monday, February 18, 2008
    For the next three weeks, the Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal and Global TV are travelling across Alberta on a Greyhound bus to get to the election stories that affect ordinary Albertans.
    On Sunday, we brought you Edmonton, and today, we reach Sherwood Park and St. Albert.

    "We just love our little town, and wish to hell Edmonton would stay out of our face."
    Terry Hovell says the above words with a smile, but you know he means business. After all, he's a Sherwood Parkian -- as many of the residents of this bedroom community a stone's throw east of the provincial capital call themselves.
    Like the other 55,000 or so citizens of what the local chamber of commerce bills "North America's largest hamlet," Hovell, a realtor, is fiercely proud and protective of this place that's been his home the past dozen years.
    To the casual observer, it's difficult to wrap your head around the allure of Sherwood Park. It's a self-described centre with no real town centre, mostly a collection of shopping malls and an endless labyrinth of residential subdivisions. At just over three kilometres from Edmonton, it's closer than Calgary's McKenzie Towne neighbourhood is to our city centre. It could be easily mistaken for just another suburb; a place where if the term bedroom community hadn't already been invented, it would have served as the inspiration.
    See link above for rest of article
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  2. #2

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    HAHAHAHA this is funny. Bone crushingly funny.

    Many, especially those in Strathcona County, where Sherwood Park sits, compare the plan to no less than the dreaded National Energy Program of the 1980s. Hovell says even the term regional co-operation is an oxymoron.
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  3. #3

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    "We don't get along," he says of his hamlet that had a grand total of 30 families residing here in 1956, and Edmonton. "The mayor (Edmonton's Stephen Mandel) is trying to take some of our industrial tax base away, and he's appealing all kinds of projects."
    You don't even want to try to get along. How many of those 30 families originally came from the boogieman, err rather, Edmonton?
    That tax base belongs to the region. Its the regions power that brought it here, not Strathcona County. Give it up
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  4. #4

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    All Hail Leduc, they seem to get it, and is much further out then Sherwood Park...(they also are facing some stiff costs in infrastructure, and are likely looking for a little help from the big tax base of everyone else


    "We believe in the capital region," Leduc mayor Greg Krischke tells me while he watches a women's hockey match Sunday at the Black Gold Centre arena. His working-class, more than a century-old city and county of 20,000 south of Edmonton won the bid to host this year's Alberta Winter Games.
    "We're all in the sandbox together, but some of us are fighting. And that is making it hard for all of us to get along and get ahead."
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  5. #5

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    "There's no downtown, no collection place for kids to get into trouble," says Hovell, who adds a home selling for $120,000 five years ago here has increased to about $420,000.
    No, they just hang out in the parks, and other places, and get bored out of there minds. When they realize theres bugger all to do out there for youths, they head to Edmonton. See above comments on social services debt.
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  6. #6

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    I posted these comments on SSP, but thought I would bring them here, and tone the language a bit down on it. (I tend to be a bit more 'vocal' over at SSP)

    I dont get how anything changes in their 'town' feel if Edmonton annex or amalagamates them. Will the sky still be blue? Yes. Will the roads still have all there little cutesy names? Yes. Will all the community kids suddenly turn to crime and drugs? Too late. Will Sherwood parkians and St Albertians have to start paying there share of the social problems? Yes! Theres that change they fear. They like their hiding spot. Away from the problems of the big city, but not the benefits.

    This regional stuff really gets to me. "We cheer for Edmonton sports teams, we shop in Edmonton, some of work in Edmonton, we use Edmontons services, we like being close to big hospitals, and all the things that the big city brings us, but HOW DARE you expect us to pay for this stuff. How dare you expect us to live under the same government as you 'commoners' . Its ******elitest attitude, and 'we're better then you, so we will take advantage of you.'

    Someone please tell me how St Albert is different the SkyView, Sherwood Park different then Tewillegar, Spruce Grove different then Jasper Place...

    Its not. And I'm ****** off about it.
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    I do enjoy the blatant mockery of sherwood park though:

    To the casual observer, it's difficult to wrap your head around the allure of Sherwood Park. It's a self-described centre with no real town centre, mostly a collection of shopping malls and an endless labyrinth of residential subdivisions. At just over three kilometres from Edmonton, it's closer than Calgary's McKenzie Towne neighbourhood is to our city centre. It could be easily mistaken for just another suburb; a place where if the term bedroom community hadn't already been invented, it would have served as the inspiration.

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    These types of comments are often said. People start identifying with their "town", however they decide to define it, and take any change as evil.

    I found it hilarious back in my Warburg days with the Alder Flats vs Winflied vs Warburg vs Breton vs Thorsby vs Calmar vs...insert any small x<500 person village here. It was just stupid. Yeah, let's make fun of Breton becasue they're so different. Let's go beat up Calmar becasue, well, they're from CALMAR don't you know!!!!

    On Metro Edmonton's scale, it is not any more stupid, just louder.
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  9. #9

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    I still don't see what these people think they have to gain here. It's painful to watch death throes so why draw it out? Simply put, if the PCs aren't on your side, nobody is on your side anymore. With the PCs, Edmonton is only the Enemy when the leader is from Calgary. I know that's pretty complex, but do you get it? Dinning lost, and there went your hope of leverage. Your "doom" was sealed. Did you realise that Dinning lost?

    It's time to admit that you're beside Edmonton, and the prosperity or threats you see you already share with Edmonton. Do you really think that shouting "we're selfish!" loud enough is going to make you any friends politically? Honestly, what's the strategy? Who are you reaching out to? Vote Bloc Strathcona all you want, but even Bloc Lamont is with Edmonton as part of the region now (welcome, and good luck!)

    To all the rational people of Strathcounty: hang in there. Even if we won't agree on every issue, we can actually see you.

    To all the "Edmonton is the Enemy, End of Story" morons in Strathcounty: if you don't want to evolve into responsible people, why not just move to Calgary where being anti-Edmonton is at least explainable (if not still irrational?) You're just pretending to cut off your torso to spite your heart. We can see you too.

    To all the rational people in Calgary: Sorry about the above, but don't worry, they're not listening to me anyway.
    Last edited by JayBee; 18-02-2008 at 07:40 PM.

  10. #10

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    It's funny the emotions quotes from one random individual in a newspaper can evoke.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    It's funny the emotions quotes from one random individual in a newspaper can evoke.
    Random individual or not, these comments are not just coming from one person, and have been similar such non-sense has been repeated by Strathcona County Hall themselves.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    Random individual or not, these comments are not just coming from one person, and have been similar such non-sense has been repeated by Strathcona County Hall themselves.
    People say alot of things that are non-sense. For instance, on this thread you stated all the community kids have turned to drugs and crime. Is there anything more nonsensical than this?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    It's funny the emotions quotes from one random individual in a newspaper can evoke.
    Just curious, is there a point here?

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee View Post
    Just curious, is there a point here?
    The point is the newspaper article is about the comments of one individual not a whole community. Yet the commentary coming back on the board is about the whole community.

  15. #15

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    Most of the opinions shared in this article have been repeated by none other then Cathy Olesen herself.
    Sure, they may not be her exact wordings, but they echo the same sentiment on the same topics. So yes, it does reflect the views of elected mayor, which represents the County.
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    Most of the opinions shared in this article have been repeated by none other then Cathy Olesen herself.
    Sure, they may not be her exact wordings, but they echo the same sentiment on the same topics. So yes, it does reflect the views of elected mayor, which represents the County.
    Which ones? The comment about comparing the regional plan to the NEP? Only ever heard one person say that who also admitted that the other councillors don't agree with his extreme rhetoric (yet they share his concerns about the regional plan).

    The mayors opinion has been that SC will not send tax dollars to Edmonton without a say in how they are spent, which is why they are for cost sharing, not revenue sharing.

    I went back and read the article again. Very little actual substance except the opinions of one individual and the extrapolation of a comment made by one Councilor to reflect the opinion of the County as a whole. Lazy journalism at its finest.

    The only comment I found interesting was this:

    "To the casual observer, it's difficult to wrap your head around the allure of Sherwood Park. It's a self-described centre with no real town centre, mostly a collection of shopping malls and an endless labyrinth of residential subdivisions. At just over three kilometres from Edmonton, it's closer than Calgary's McKenzie Towne neighbourhood is to our city centre. It could be easily mistaken for just another suburb; a place where if the term bedroom community hadn't already been invented, it would have served as the inspiration."

    The guys hit the nail on the head here. It is hard to explain the allure to the casual observer. But there is obviously one or the residents wouldn't care about whether they were part of Edmonton or not.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    "To the casual observer, it's difficult to wrap your head around the allure of Sherwood Park. It's a self-described centre with no real town centre, mostly a collection of shopping malls and an endless labyrinth of residential subdivisions. At just over three kilometres from Edmonton, it's closer than Calgary's McKenzie Towne neighbourhood is to our city centre. It could be easily mistaken for just another suburb; a place where if the term bedroom community hadn't already been invented, it would have served as the inspiration."
    The guys hit the nail on the head here. It is hard to explain the allure to the casual observer. But there is obviously one or the residents wouldn't care about whether they were part of Edmonton or not.
    Many, including my parents, current residents of Sherwood park, don't really see the difference, cause there isn't any. When I drive in from hwy 16, baseline, wye road, or twp rd 522/whitemud, how do I tell theres a difference between Sherwood Park and Edmonton? If I didn't know there was a politically drawn boundary line, it just seems like one continuous city.

    My question is how does a whole region of a million+ residents that all support in some way or another the multi-billion dollar industries that are in the Greater Eastern Edmonton Region, only gets to be the benefit of 80,000+ people?

    My problem is that it would 'appear' for the most part that the attitudes of several on council, and many residents think that they alone helped attract these industries to the region. It wasn't the readily available work-force of the entire region, or the plethora of industry service related business that are in the entire region. If anything, its the luck that the pipeline that goes way into the south conveniently lies on the eastern area of the region.
    They pretend they are autonomous, and like to throw that word out when ever little rational arguments they use fail to actually be rational. Sherwood Park is no more then a bedroom suburban community, similar to Castledowns, or SkyView, or Bonnie Doon. The difference is they hold in greed, a huge industrial tax base, and laugh at revenue sharing with the region, but also laugh that the brunt of the homeless, lower income costs of running a huge Region are burdened on Edmonton.

    Sherwood Park is a reclusive Tax Shelter for the Rich, and for the industry. All the benefits of a huge region, but not the shared costs or revenue.

    how do you cost share? Is SC wanting to pay for EPS when there troubled youth have no place to go but in to Edmonton? Is SC willing to put up homesless shelters there? Low income housing? etc etc etc.

    Clearly, neither cost sharing, nor revenue sharing is the answer.

    It's time to combine services. One by one, and form a greater government. Call it bringing the family together. Some will call it annexation, some will call it amalgamation, some with call it other names likely not repeatable here.

    Transit, Social Programs, Capital Health (oops, already done) school boards, emergency services, Water and Power (oh, wait, that's already done too...), snow removal, infrastructure, etc, etc, Next, lets combine the 24 municipal governments into 1 body that represents this region.

    we can stop with the "I'm special" cause I'm unique. You are no more unique then 'Old Strathcona' or 'Beverly' or 'Jasper Place' or 'downtown' or 'Westmount' etc etc. We are all unique. But we are all part of the same sandbox. The same region. We all work, play, shop, commute together. We should all share the benefits and the consequences of being a Metro Region of over a million people,

    Dont you think so?

    maybe if you think so, we can all Stand up together, in our unique offerings, as a region together, and start attracting more benefits to this great land. How much greater this land will be if we for once, stopped hiding in our 'uniqueness' and realized that it's time to come together as a region strong, and show this country, and this world, what a great place we are to work, shop, play, live, and experience.

    What do you think?
    Last edited by Medwards; 19-02-2008 at 10:36 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    ... It is hard to explain the allure to the casual observer. But there is obviously one or the residents wouldn't care about whether they were part of Edmonton or not.
    it's not too hard to explain. it's cheaper.

    and that wouldn't change whether they were part of edmonton or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    It's funny the emotions quotes from one random individual in a newspaper can evoke.
    sure is - much like what can happen in a forum thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    (...)

    The only comment I found interesting was this:

    "To the casual observer, it's difficult to wrap your head around the allure of Sherwood Park. It's a self-described centre with no real town centre, mostly a collection of shopping malls and an endless labyrinth of residential subdivisions. At just over three kilometres from Edmonton, it's closer than Calgary's McKenzie Towne neighbourhood is to our city centre. It could be easily mistaken for just another suburb; a place where if the term bedroom community hadn't already been invented, it would have served as the inspiration."

    The guys hit the nail on the head here. It is hard to explain the allure to the casual observer. But there is obviously one or the residents wouldn't care about whether they were part of Edmonton or not.
    As did I find it interesting as it yet again proves that Sherwood Park, other than the odd cheaper home of yesterday, offers nothing significantly above Millwoods, Airdrie, Elbow Valley, Parkview, Spruce Grove, etc. It just, yet again , stresses the stupidity of the infighting and re-enforces that the vast majority of this argument is political and empire building, with potential revenue thrown into the mix. Otherwise, in about 5 minutes of entering Sherwood Park, 99.99% of observers are laughing at the Park, not with it. ...and I fear most residents don't "care" as many would espouse...politicians and bureaucrats afraid fo where their jobs and "seniority" would land in an amalgamated city care more, and throw the odd acerage owner who gets his road paved up to his house that has just killed yet more farmland but is now afraid of having to pay the REAL tax burden for his sprawl. After all, residents would quickly discover what the Herald writers and everyone else already knows...you'll wake up, and nothing will change in your life except the name on top of your tax bill...and you'll now have a seat at the big table.
    Last edited by RichardS; 19-02-2008 at 11:28 AM.
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    it's not too hard to explain. it's cheaper.

    and that wouldn't change whether they were part of edmonton or not.
    Cheaper how? Home prices and property taxes are the similar. Perhaps we get more facilities for those dollars however.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    Cheaper how? Home prices and property taxes are the similar. Perhaps we get more facilities for those dollars however.
    Kinda easy when you have such a huge industrial tax base for such a small population.

    I'm also hoping you'll reply to my above lengthy post...
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  23. #23

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    Medwards, I do hear where you are coming from. There needs to be better regional cooperation. Whether it's cost or revenue sharing there needs to be better dispersement of funds. How that is acheived is the issue and debate.

    But this argument that there is no difference between the municipalities is bogus. There is at least one big difference that everyone can agree on and that is that the 23 area that form the capital region are legally their own municipalities. I spend no time thinking about whether Sherwood Park would be different if it was part of Edmonton, because it's not and won't be for the foresseeable future. Blue skying may be fun but its not real solutions.

    This is where Mayor Mandel has been smart. He's not swinging for the fences. He's getting the strucutre in place that he wants and then he'll work from there. The only ones talking of amalgamation are lazy writers from the Herald and this message board (at least publicly).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    But this argument that there is no difference between the municipalities is bogus. There is at least one big difference that everyone can agree on and that is that the 23 area that form the capital region are legally their own municipalities. (...)

    This is where Mayor Mandel has been smart. He's not swinging for the fences. He's getting the strucutre in place that he wants and then he'll work from there. The only ones talking of amalgamation are lazy writers from the Herald and this message board (at least publicly).

    That "difference" is a signature on a piece of paper. Don't even try to equate it to manifest destiny of a culture, race/ethnicity, or a place steeped in history. That is where everyone starts laughing. Edmonton could become boogaboogaville with one Order in Council.

    ...and watch the "lazy writers" comment. The ones just as lazy are arguing the status quo or trying to portray themselves as articulate and hard working while desperately trying to perpetuate some sort of difference between one vinyl sided neighborhood to another.
    Last edited by RichardS; 21-02-2008 at 08:26 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    That "difference" is a signature on a piece of paper. Don't even try to equate it to manifest destiny of a culture, race/ethnicity, or a place steeped in history. That is where everyone starts laughing. Edmonton could become boogaboogaville with one Order in Council.

    ...and watch the "lazy writers" comment. The ones just as lazy are arguing the status quo or trying to portray themselves as articulate and hard working while desperately trying to perpetuate some sort of difference between one vinyl sided neighborhood to another.
    Manifest destiny? Place steeped in history? No idea what you're even talking about.

    I thought it was fair game to point out lazy or inaccurate writing on these boards? Neil Waugh takes a routine beating. Is the difference that you agree with one and not the other?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    There is at least one big difference that everyone can agree on and that is that the 23 area that form the capital region are legally their own municipalities.

    What kind of difference is that?
    Circular logic at it's finest!

    You say "Sherwood Park is a separate municipality, therefore it is different.
    Sherwood park is different, therefore it should be a separate municipality!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    Manifest destiny? Place steeped in history? No idea what you're even talking about.

    I thought it was fair game to point out lazy or inaccurate writing on these boards? Neil Waugh takes a routine beating. Is the difference that you agree with one and not the other?
    It is fair game, but define lazy and inaccurate. That was the point. It is just as inaccurate to try to purport some sort of independance, when really, it doesn't exist.

    Normally, arguments about independance and self determination belong on a country level, not on some pseudo-hamlet trying to maintian an empire founded on cheap housing for refinery workers, and one that could be simply changed by an Order in Council with nary a shot fired. I've used those terms before, so your surprise at them being used again is rather revealing.

    One looks myopic and another looks global. You say it is "lazy" to talk about amalgamation, how is that "lazy"? The research behind that opinion is far from lazy. ...oh, I guess Jim Lightbody is the laziest SOB on the planet, as his book City Politics, Canada so "rightly" pointed out. No research there at all!

    Neil takes his licks. As do I. What I see here is that when challenged to actually articluate the differnece, some turtle and say "Oh, but we're autonomous entities on paper! Vive la Park!" That's pretty lazy IMO.
    Last edited by RichardS; 21-02-2008 at 11:34 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    What kind of difference is that?
    Circular logic at it's finest!

    You say "Sherwood Park is a separate municipality, therefore it is different.
    Sherwood park is different, therefore it should be a separate municipality!"
    Welcome to the jingoistic dance that hides the real issues.
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  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    It is fair game, but define lazy and inaccurate. That was the point. It is just as inaccurate to try to purport some sort of independance, when really, it doesn't exist.

    Normally, arguments about independance and self determination belong on a country level, not on some pseudo-hamlet trying to maintian an empire founded on cheap housing for refinery workers, and one that could be simply changed by an Order in Council with nary a shot fired. I've used those terms before, so your surprise at them being used again is rather revealing.

    One looks myopic and another looks global. You say it is "lazy" to talk about amalgamation, how is that "lazy"? The research behind that opinion is far from lazy. ...oh, I guess Jim Lightbody is the laziest SOB on the planet, as his book City Politics, Canada so "rightly" pointed out. No research there at all!

    Neil takes his licks. As do I. What I see here is that when challenged to actually articluate the differnece, some turtle and say "Oh, but we're autonomous entities on paper! Vive la Park!" That's pretty lazy IMO.
    Who is purporting independence. We're all interdependent. You're the only one using terms like "self-determinant." Not sure what it reveals that I have ignored this rant before.

    I say lazy is to write an article with a title that has nothing to do about the article (amalgamation not even on the table, it's an argument about the form and structure of regional cooperation), to quote one comment by one man about the NEP to a whole town (inaccurate), to interview one random person for comments and attribute them to the community and to not even research what the municipal governments stance is. At least in Leduc he quoted the mayor.

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    What kind of difference is that?
    Circular logic at it's finest!

    You say "Sherwood Park is a separate municipality, therefore it is different.
    Sherwood park is different, therefore it should be a separate municipality!"
    Legally it is a seperate municipality, not circular logic, just a fact. The second part of your statement is one that it constantly debated on this board.

    The original point I was making to Medwards was that amalgamation talk is just that. As all the players are on record as not being for it. All of the different municipalities are on record as not wanting amalgamation. You may say their is no difference between the communities (I would disagree) but as far as amalgamation goes their is one crucial difference. They are all their own legal entity and none of them (including Edmonton) want amalgation. Richard is right, a stroke of the pen can change it all. But the provincial government (the pen holder) is also on record as not wanting that.

  31. #31

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    So what is so different about Sherwood Park than Edmonton, or any of Edmonton's suburbs?

    Enlighten me...
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  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    So what is so different about Sherwood Park than Edmonton, or any of Edmonton's suburbs?

    Enlighten me...
    Go through the back posts. We've been down this road so many times.

  33. #33

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    I'm looking, and i'm not seeing much.

    Explain to Joe Newcomer the difference between Casltedowns, and Sherwood Park. What would be some of the tell tale signs that Joe is no longer in Castledowns, but instead Joe is in Sherwood Park, or vice versa. Outside of where the money goes to pay for the sewer and water, and property taxes.

    - You need medical treatment? You're going to a Capital Health Facility. (Capital is refering to the Capital of Alberta, Edmonton)

    - You want to go for a night out? You going to one of Edmonton's many cultural/sporting/arts/shopping/restaurants facilities

    - The major newspaper you read? The Edmonton Journal or Edmonton Sun

    - Your sewer and water facilities? same as Edmonton

    - The Anthony Henday Freeway? It's a ring road around ... Edmonton. I guess Sherwood Park has no use for that...

    - The Airport you use? Edmonton International Airport. (Which should also be part of a new regional government)

    - The higher education facilities your children will likely use? In Edmonton

    - The number one destination for Strathcona County Buses? Edmonton

    - I could go on and on - do I need to? What more part of Edmonton aren't you?
    Last edited by Medwards; 21-02-2008 at 08:42 PM.

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    I think there's a sign that says "Welcome to Edmonton" or "Welcome to Sherwood Park" or "City of Edmonton Corporate Limits" or something along those lines, that's how I always know I've crossed the city limits.

  35. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    I'm looking, and i'm not seeing much.

    Explain to Joe Newcomer the difference between Casltedowns, and Sherwood Park. What would be some of the tell tale signs that Joe is no longer in Castledowns, but instead Joe is in Sherwood Park, or vice versa. Outside of where the money goes to pay for the sewer and water, and property taxes.

    - You need medical treatment? You're going to a Capital Health Facility. (Capital is refering to the Capital of Alberta, Edmonton)

    - You want to go for a night out? You going to one of Edmonton's many cultural/sporting/arts/shopping/restaurants facilities

    - The major newspaper you read? The Edmonton Journal or Edmonton Sun

    - Your sewer and water facilities? same as Edmonton

    - The Anthony Henday Freeway? It's a ring road around ... Edmonton. I guess Sherwood Park has no use for that...

    - The Airport you use? Edmonton International Airport. (Which should also be part of a new regional government)

    - The higher education facilities your children will likely use? In Edmonton

    - The number one destination for Strathcona County Buses? Edmonton

    - I could go on and on - do I need to? What more part of Edmonton aren't you?
    Go on as much as you like. If Joe newcomer sees no difference than he's more than welcome to like in another municipality.

    If there is no difference, then why do people live in Sherwood Park? Property taxes are the same, as are housing prices. We're close to refineries and allegedly have the highest asthma rate in North America (never seen this verified but we've all heard it). Think about what an incredible negative that is. There's no downtown. Very limited nightlife. We have some good facilities like Millenium, but people from anywhere else could use them.

    To recap, no ecomic benefit to the average family, environmental risks, possible health risks, no additional services, limited cultural facilities. You're right, the people that live there must see no difference.

  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    I think there's a sign that says "Welcome to Edmonton" or "Welcome to Sherwood Park" or "City of Edmonton Corporate Limits" or something along those lines, that's how I always know I've crossed the city limits.

    We're changing the sign to "Hamlet of Champions".

  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    Go on as much as you like. If Joe newcomer sees no difference than he's more than welcome to like in another municipality.

    If there is no difference, then why do people live in Sherwood Park? Property taxes are the same, as are housing prices. We're close to refineries and allegedly have the highest asthma rate in North America (never seen this verified but we've all heard it). Think about what an incredible negative that is. There's no downtown. Very limited nightlife. We have some good facilities like Millenium, but people from anywhere else could use them.

    To recap, no ecomic benefit to the average family, environmental risks, possible health risks, no additional services, limited cultural facilities. You're right, the people that live there must see no difference.
    so if there is no difference, which you just admitted, and people are moving there out of conveniences for their job, much like most others in Edmonton, they live somewhere close to there work.

    The differences are that Strathcona county residents get a bigger bang for their tax dollar. Look at the break downs of monies the municipal government collects. It collects a lot more money in industrial taxes. It's able to then pamper to the affluent people of the region with much more services. Enticing them to come in. Our roads/school are better. They then look down at Edmonton, as it has to deal with problems that as the sole provider of services as the core of a region. As if it's Edmonton's fault it's the core, and then it the same breathe try to echo effects to that they are unique because they don't have to deal/pay for these social problems of a metropolis of over a million strong.
    Sure enough, they receive many benefits from being in such a great region.

  38. #38

  39. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    so if there is no difference, which you just admitted, and people are moving there out of conveniences for their job, much like most others in Edmonton, they live somewhere close to there work.

    The differences are that Strathcona county residents get a bigger bang for their tax dollar. Look at the break downs of monies the municipal government collects. It collects a lot more money in industrial taxes. It's able to then pamper to the affluent people of the region with much more services. Enticing them to come in. Our roads/school are better. They then look down at Edmonton, as it has to deal with problems that as the sole provider of services as the core of a region. As if it's Edmonton's fault it's the core, and then it the same breathe try to echo effects to that they are unique because they don't have to deal/pay for these social problems of a metropolis of over a million strong.
    Sure enough, they receive many benefits from being in such a great region.
    Must be close to work. Everyone that lives here must also work here.

    Can't be the bigger bang for the buck. Our roads are the same, our school boards are just as underfunded as everyone else's. We also have Millenium Place which is a great facility. So it must be close to work and Millenium Place.

    You've lived here right? What are the other services we get pampered with that Edmonton doesn't get (want to make sure I'm not missing anything).

  40. #40

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    The County Vision of what it really tries to pretend is already, but isnt..

    The County Vision's


    Strathcona County is a safe, caring and autonomous community that treasures its unique blend of urban and rural lifestyles while balancing the natural environment with economic prosperity; and through strong, effective leadership is a vibrant community of choice.”

    So states the county vision statement, yet as I read these fine words I wonder what they really mean and whether they in fact help us truly understand what kind of a community we would like to live in. What appears above is not in fact a vision but the desired result of having a concrete vision. While no one would seriously question these sentiments, I don’t believe they are helpful in addressing real issues we must address – the MDP, lifestyle, budgets, crime, economic well-being.

    Here, is my attempt at a vision that would tend to create a community described by the vision statement.

    I would propose a maximum, stable long-term population of no more than 100,000. Fewer would be better. This is about the size that various studies have shown to produce the maximum benefits for the least cost. Edmonton and other large cities have shown us what happens to infrastructure when this rule is violated.

    Growth to that population level should be no more than1% per annum. Rapid change is always accompanied by negative side effects. Growth should never be allowed to contribute to the decay of existing community.

    It follows that Strathcona County should maintain political autonomy: Edmonton has already bought into the megapolis mentality and therefore holds a vision philosophically opposed to ours. A corollary is that it is in our interests to avoid dependence on neighbours for infrastructure. We are already deeply integrated with Edmonton owned utilities providing domestic water and power. The aggressive development of our own utility function will eliminate one more excuse for absorption by our neighbour.

    Self-sufficiency is an impossible goal in the modern global village. Still we should attempt to strive for an economic base that matches as closely as possible our population – where possible folks should be able to work in the community where they live. A target of one full time employment position per household would show that Strathcona County is more than a dormitory suburb of Edmonton.

    Finally, it seems that a heterogeneous community is more interesting to live in. This means a variety of housing options ranging from working farms through rural residences to high density urban development. It means a variety of people living here – young and old of many different cultural and economic backgrounds.

    http://www.strathcona.ab.ca/Strathco...mns/Vision.htm
    So it's Edmonton's mistake that the region needs so many people. I would like to see what Sherwood Park would be with out the 800,000 other people around here.

  41. #41

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    Medwards, so misleading of you. This part of the quote is the county's:

    “Strathcona County is a safe, caring and autonomous community that treasures its unique blend of urban and rural lifestyles while balancing the natural environment with economic prosperity; and through strong, effective leadership is a vibrant community of choice.”


    The rest is councillor Dunn's opinion from a 2005 article. The same councillor that made the NEP crack.

  42. #42

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    New model not good for Strathcona
    http://www.strathcona.ab.ca/Strathco...Strathcona.htm
    Chamber of Commerce – January 17, 2008

    A special thank you to President Terri Lynn Bougie and Executive Director Todd Banks, as well as the Board and membership.

    You have consistently provided me opportunities to keep you in the loop on the latest developments in the Capital Region.

    Unfortunately what I have to tell you today is not good news.

    On the basis of assurances provided by the Premier in June that his review would respect municipal autonomy and not create another level of government, Strathcona County has been working through the Alberta Capital Region Alliance and with the other counties and heartland partners over the last 6 months to develop workable proposals for effective regional cooperation on a number of issues.

    Unfortunately, the provincial government has now chosen a completely different approach. They have chosen to dictate a new model largely based on the information and misinformation provided by Edmonton.

    They set out to reform the Capital Region and develop a solution - to something - in a 6 month time frame but they never identified what the problem was.

    The most generous interpretation I have heard is that the Government of Alberta was spooked by Edmonton’s propaganda effort and took it to heart that investment in the region was in jeopardy unless inter municipal cooperation was somehow improved in the Capital Region.

    While their aims may have been well intentioned, their absence of meaningful consultation and their failure to define the problem – has resulted in choice of a solution, that combined with other provincial government initiatives – like environmental restrictions and the royalty review – is already creating uncertainty that could diminish or postpone previously projected new investment.

    Three fundamental concerns we have are the impacts on business in the region, the impacts on our residents in terms of both taxes and services and our limited ability for fair representation at the table.

    Essentially, the Government of Alberta has decreed creation of a super board made of representatives from 25 municipalities that will oversee regional needs and priorities for core and social infrastructure. It would dictate to the municipalities on a range of subjects including planning and certain core services such as transit, fire, ambulance and policing – and it will have the power to requisition taxes.

    Edmonton will have a de facto veto on every issue by virtue of its population. Beyond that all municipalities receive one vote regardless of size. Strathcona will have the same voting power as New Sarepta or Warburg. While Strathcona encompasses many communities as a specialized municipality of 83,000 people it will have one vote while the communities encompassed by Leduc county - with half our population - will have a total of eight votes.

    How our needs will be addressed within this voting structure is not clear.

    Further - The Radke Report states that an estimated $19.6 Billion is needed over the next ten years for core infrastructure within the Capital Region. Most of these costs are now within the provincial sphere of responsibility such as for major roads and highways.

    The Radke Report puts forward a new cost-sharing model.

    For the $19.6 billion of core infrastructure needs, the Government of Alberta would pay $4 billion, the municipalities would pay $7.4 billion and industry would be responsible for $8.25 billion. This works out to about 20% for the province, almost 40% for municipalities and over 40% for industry.

    Radke’s funding proposal is not similar to any of the approaches we have historically seen.

    Where do the revenues go and how are taxes currently divided among the orders of government?

    Typically 7 percent goes to the municipality and 93 % to the province and the feds. On the upgraders it is estimated that of taxes generated, 57 % would go to the feds, 38% to the province and 5% to the municipalities.

    Municipal revenue estimates we have from the new investment in the Capital Region indicate that by 2015, Strathcona County anticipates new revenues close to $70 million.

    Radke’s projections for our revenue was at minimum $10 million higher and at maximum almost double. But this is the least of our worries - the discrepancy in the accuracy of those numbers pales in comparison with our share of the costs, based upon any of the proposed cost sharing models.

    If we are requisitioned by the provincial government based on population we would pay for 8% of total infrastructure costs and if it based on non-residential assessment, this community would pay 20% of the regional municipalities’ portion. Again, the municipal portion of the core infrastructure requirements is $7.4 BILLION.

    Whether our share is 8% or 20%, Strathcona County could be asked to pay between $594 Million and $1.48 Billion respectively. No matter how the funds are requisitioned, we do not have revenues currently that will come any where close to these figures.

    We will have no choice but to raise taxes while the other orders of government who will receive 95% of the revenue and are reporting records surpluses would have a reduced overall responsibility.

    There is a further vicious irony at work here.

    Strathcona’s visionary creation of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland in cooperation with the Counties of Sturgeon and Lamont and the City of Fort Saskatchewan attracted industry because Alberta was open to business and AIHA offered progressive planning and proximity to supply and pipelines. The cost of doing business was attractive and a good investment case could be made especially with the rising price and demand for secure oil supplies. Indeed it is pretty clear that the Heartland initiative is the basis for much of the current and anticipated prosperity in Alberta today.

    Edmonton was invited to participate but chose not to.

    Now Edmonton and twenty other municipalities who have had no direct involvement are being given the power to dictate to us and infrastructure costs that have traditionally been provincial are being downloaded; yet most new revenues will go to other levels of government.

    Strathcona will have potentially 8 to 20% of the responsibility for funding new infrastructure with about 4% of the voting power on the new board. Our planning will be subject to the dictates of the board and our ability to respond to the needs of our own community will be diminished while our taxes will be increased.

    Unlike most of the communities in the Capital Region, our new Municipal Development Plan will apparently not be grandfathered. So in spite of a multi year consultation process in developing a long range document that responds to and provides certainty for our residents and that was approved unanimously by the previous council, new uncertainties have been introduced that we are no longer in any position to address at this time.

    As Gerry Gabinet pointed out yesterday, while we have much on the go and are generally in a very positive position as a municipality - and as a place to live and do business, - there are some storm clouds on the horizon.

    I would be happy to take any questions that you may have and thank you for welcoming me once again.
    Those Industries are choosing the locate in the Alberta industrial Heartland because the Alberta Industrial Heartland was built where the pipeline was put in. It is also one of the few areas in the region that has the water needs that these industries need.

    It also needs the employment work force of Edmonton region. Without it, these projects all die

  43. #43

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    At least this councilor at least seems to get it somewhat



    Published February 8, 2008

    There has been a significant amount of information given out by the Provincial Government, our own County and as well, numerous individuals over the past couple of months on the pros and cons of regionalization. While everyone seems to unilaterally agree that cooperation and participation on projects benefiting the entire Capital Region are necessary and worthwhile, where they seem to digress is in the details.

    The Radke Report, now known as the Stelmach/Danyluk Report (Ray Danyluk is the current Minister of Municipal Affairs who commissioned and then adopted many of the recommendations in the report) started this dialogue because of two significant aspects coming out of the report. The first was the lack of important detail on how certain aspects of the report were to be fleshed out and second was the complete change of direction as per governance of the region; i.e. A new non-elected superboard which will have binding power over all municipalities in the region.

    While I am not pleased with the uncertainty caused by these aspects of the report and especially the supposed “veto power” given to one municipality due to the size of their population, I believe now is the time to pool our resources and formulate a plan to derive some positives from this situation. We should be lobbying all our neighbours to determine whether there is a method by which other municipalities could also exercise veto powers over specific projects. I further believe we need to start dialoguing with all the municipalities on options or possibilities that might make this plan work for individual municipalities as well as the entire region.

    There has also been a lot of criticism of our current MLAs on their position and why they were not fighting for their constituents. I have been to meetings with Council and our present MLAs where their position has been outlined and a number of suggestions have been given to Council on possibilities of turning this negative to a positive. Some of these did help us to formulate a strategy on what to do and how to get there. We must remember that while these representatives are elected by ourselves, they also are only a small number in a large government group that may not always see the overall plan in the same manner that we do. We must also remember we will continue to need the advocacy and strong support of our MLAs in lobbying the government for any changes we deem necessary.

    I have recently been appointed as the alternate on the new superboard representing Strathcona County. As a Councillor for Strathcona County, I am looking forward to working with the Provincial Government as well as all my colleagues in this region and putting together a plan that will benefit not only Strathcona County but the entire Capital Region.

    Vic Bidzinski
    Councillor, Ward 1
    464-8005
    [email protected].

  44. #44
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    Thumbs down

    I think Edmonton and neighbouring municipalities will have to start slow if there is to be any regional cooperation.

    We could start with making passes to Millennium Place, Servus CU Place and other facilities universal. We could also do the same for libraries.

    Finally, I think we could have a Metro Edmonton Wide Festival series all summer, starting with the St. Albert Rainmaker Rodeo and Children's Festival, followed by Edmonton's summer festivals.

    If we build unity here, we might be able to build consensus for other initiatives.

  45. #45

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    It's time to combine services. One by one, and form a greater government. Call it bringing the family together. Some will call it annexation, some will call it amalgamation, some will call it cost sharing, some will call it revenue sharing.

    Transit, Social Programs, Capital Health (oops, already done) school boards, emergency services, Water and Power (oh, wait, that's already done too...), snow removal, infrastructure, etc, etc, Slowly by slowly, we will erode the political boundaries, and form on great city.

    Sharing costs and maintenance, and making a universal pass to recreation facilities is also a great idea. Whether it's Servus, millinieum, Millwoods, ACT, Boonie Doon, Scona, Peter Hemingway, Jasper Place, Tri-leisure Center, Londonderry or more.

    ---

    I don't get this cost sharing idea. Edmonton has paid the brunt of the social housing and infrastructure costs of being a mega-metropolis, and all they get in return is the offer of cost sharing? Its been what? 50 years that Edmonton has done it alone, with little to no help. Now the likes of Sherwood Park has the nerve to go ' Ok, we will help, but you must give us exactly dollar amounts of where everything will go'

    Answer: It can go in to the 50 year fund, where you haven't paid nil. How about that? Maybe we should right up a tab of the costs over the last 50 years? And then you can pick and choose what you think is fair, and in your best interest.

    The obvious gesture should be to build a homeless shelter in Sherwood Park, and have them pay for it all. (Just kidding)

    The answer, is to do as I see whats going to happen.

    We first start by slowly combining services. Capital Health was the first. More to come. Don't believe me? Wait a few years. I'm not smoking crack here ladies and gentlemen.


    But if all we are going to do is allow SC to pick and choose what it thinks is fair to cost share on, I'm going to start offering homeless people free rides to Sherwood Park mall. Next I'll start up a soup hall in the empty strip mall besides Franklins Inn.
    Last edited by Medwards; 22-02-2008 at 08:04 AM.

  46. #46
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    I think that, as shown by Edmonton's experiences, that there have to be bonds built with the people of the communities if there is to be cooperation.

    A case in point is 118 Avenue. When Edmonton supported arts initiatives and other local interests, the Alberta Avenue neighbourhood started to flourish.

    I am a supporter of regional cooperation, but one thing I see among some people in Strathcona County is the fear that Edmonton will dictate their agenda. This has to be addressed.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cat View Post
    I think Edmonton and neighbouring municipalities will have to start slow if there is to be any regional cooperation.

    We could start with making passes to Millennium Place, Servus CU Place and other facilities universal. We could also do the same for libraries.

    If we build unity here, we might be able to build consensus for other initiatives.
    I don't disagree with the concept of building unity, but I disagree on "universality". Why would I, as an Edmontonian who lives and works in Edmonton, want to subsidize suburbia's facilities and libraries, or provide further access to already strained city resources?

    I don't live or work in Sherwood Park/St. Albert/Spruce Grove. I'm not about to start visiting their facilities.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter Wife View Post
    (...)Why would I, as an Edmontonian who lives and works in Edmonton, want to subsidize suburbia's facilities and libraries, or provide further access to already strained city resources?

    (...).

    Hint, you already do. It is just called Millwoods, Callingwood, Lessard, Twin Brooks, etc. Suburbia knows no bounds. The Grange = suburbia.

    Do you visit the rec centers in Londonderry? Libraries in Lynwood? Capilano arenas?
    President and CEO - Airshow.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Starter Wife View Post
    (...)Why would I, as an Edmontonian who lives and works in Edmonton, want to subsidize suburbia's facilities and libraries, or provide further access to already strained city resources?

    (...).

    Hint, you already do. It is just called Millwoods, Callingwood, Lessard, Twin Brooks, etc. Suburbia knows no bounds. The Grange = suburbia.

    Do you visit the rec centers in Londonderry? Libraries in Lynwood? Capilano arenas?
    stop trying to make this a logical discussion just because you voted.

    did the advance poll on saturday before leaving and they were saying it had been the busiest for the last few elections - any idea what turnout has been like today?
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  50. #50

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    I was 3rd in line and shocked by the number of people who were behind me when I left. Close to 40.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  51. #51
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    Stay on topic people
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    stop trying to make this a logical discussion just because you voted.
    Sorry Ken. You can beat me later...I just like logic over rhetoric and jingoism....
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