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New Regional 'Super Board'

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  • New Regional 'Super Board'

    Here is the link from Doug Radke's presentation on the Nov 22 it is on the Strathcona County Website.

    And here is Cathy's News Release

    Concern about regional 'super board'

    Published November 30, 2007

    One matter vital to the future of our municipality is occupying much of Council's time and attention: the growth plan being developed for the Capital Region under the leadership of the Province.

    Strathcona County welcomes this. We know that regional cooperation works well. Proof of this is all around us in the quality of life our residents enjoy, and the $50 billion in additional investment planned for the area.

    Last week, however, we received a draft of the Plan (PDF) 620 KB proposed for the region, and it raises some serious concerns and questions.

    The proposal would create a new 'super board' with authority over local municipalities including taxing powers.

    Land use plans would be made by a regional board rather than at a local level.

    A range of other services are listed for possible regional delivery. Among these are inter-municipal transit, information services and housing; and potentially policing, fire and ambulance, recreation, economic development, solid waste management, wastewater and potable water.

    Strathcona County is in favour of cooperation. We are committed to paying our fair share of costs related to necessary regional projects. We already deliver many services in partnership with our neighbours, and we are open to new arrangements wherever they make sense. But we believe these choices are best made by local municipalities, who understand local needs and are accountable to their taxpayers.

    A troubling aspect of the proposed regional plan is that we are being asked to agree without full knowledge of some of the most critical details.

    For example, we do not know what voting structure the regional board would use, or how our share of the costs would be determined.

    In June, when Premier Stelmach announced the process to develop a regional plan, he said the plan was aimed at efficient delivery of public services. He also said community identities would be supported.

    Last week, after seeing the proposed plan, 66 municipalities from throughout Alberta--including Strathcona County--resoundingly supported resolutions encouraging the Province to return to the principles that have proven successful--cooperation and collaboration, local autonomy and accountability.

    As your elected representatives, that is the direction we will continue to put forward.

    We also welcome your comments or questions.

    More information: Regional cooperation.

    In the spirit of community,
    Cathy Olesen, Mayor

    Mayor Cathy Olesen can be reached at 464-8000 or [email protected].

    A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

  • #2
    Well the parks mayor is all over this in the negative...there is a suprise.


    • #3
      I had heard someone had jumped the gun on the scheduled Friday announcement. Why am I not surprised at who it was? I'm not sure it's politically wise to ruffle the feathers of those who hold all the cards...but I guess I'm not a politician.


      • #4
        In the spirit of community,


        • #5
          Originally posted by sweetcrude
          In the spirit of community,
          ever notice that those that invoke works like "community" to defend their positions invariably fail to define community and when you look at the positions taken, community quickly becomes "us" and the positions taken "what's good for us"?
          "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee


          • #6
            Cathy Olesen is obviously not making many friends.
            The world is full of kings and queens, who blind your eyes then steal your dreams.
            It's heaven and hell!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Citysource
              -----Original Message-----
              From: Al Maurer
              Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2007 1:41 PM
              To: COE *All Email Users
              Subject: Plan for Edmonton Region nears completion
              In June of this year, Premier Ed Stelmach announced a new initiative to create a growth management plan for the Edmonton region. We have been working closely with the province to provide information and insights on how best to manage the continuing economic boom in the Edmonton area. On Friday, December 7, we will receive the final report.

              The report will include a series of findings and recommendations to the Premier. We expect it will recommend:
              a binding regional land-use plan,
              a regional governance body to create and implement the plan and
              options for funding of regional services.

              You may be wondering what regional planning will mean for you and your work. Most importantly, the excellent services you provide to Edmontonians will remain the same; however, a regional perspective will be taken in many areas of the City’s business including land use planning, transportation planning and inter-municipal transit.

              It is early in the process, but I believe a regional planning framework will be extremely positive for our city. It’s something we asked for and it’s something that will help us to build a great region today and for future generations.

              We live in a metropolitan area of over a million people with the strongest economy in the nation but it is planned and served by 25 separate local governments. The City has long championed the need for coordinated regional planning with our neighbours. We know that good planning is critical to managing growth in a coordinated and cost-effective way.

              More information on the Edmonton regional plan will be shared with you in the upcoming days.

              Al Maurer
              City Manager
              This is from another thread on this issue....I'll lock the other one.
              President and CEO - Airshow.


              • #8
                I'm pretty sure that this plan will include only cost sharing and no revenue sharing. To me, this means the effectiveness of the plan comes down to the voting structure.


                • #9
                  One fallacy (and a potentially dangerous one) in Olesen's arguments is her perception that Strathcona County independently provides its services to its residents.

                  What about water, energy, waste treatment, waste disposal, and recycling services, all provided by the City of Edmonton? Yes, Strathcona County has a lot of petrochemical infrastructure, but future upgraders will need more power and utilities.

                  Do we really want to continue this fight, and potentially drive up the cost of doing business as a result of municipalities competing against each other. Strathcona County does have a voice, but it is one of many when it comes to Metro Edmonton related issues.
                  "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.


                  • #10
                    I wasn't sure this was a good setup until Olesen said it wasn't.

                    And her argument? Regional cooperation works well and we welcome it. We just don't want it to have taxing, planning, equitable voting, or basically anything that would in any way force us to cooperate.



                    • #11
                      ^I know. I love how her starting premise is that the way things are works perfectly well.


                      • #12
                        I've been in and out of Strathcona County for the majority of my years. I've lived out that way and beyond. The point is that I've got a pretty good sense of both sides of the argument.

                        Look, I understand where the apprehension is coming from as relinquishing some autonomy to the control of a regional 'super board' is, frankly, going to be scary. We don't really know what we're getting into, but doing it the way we are does work but at quite a significant cost.

                        In all seriousness, would we really want to run a business this way? Firstly, the best decisions are not being made on a regional basis. Secondly, the services that are being offered are certainly at a premium cost to the end user. This will only continue if we don't figure out how to better handle a wide range of issues on a regional scale.

                        What's the real issue here? I think in large part a plan of this kind exposes the inflated bureaucracies that are currently in place.

                        25 separate local governments
                        For me, opposition to a plan like this is simply a vote for the continuance of wasting a lot of money for no real good reason. In addition, it is a vote to avoid making smart decisions. To use the business analogy, why should these separate governments essentially be competing against each other when we could remove most of the red-tape by actually cooperating.

                        We know that regional cooperation works well.
                        So what in the hell are we waiting for?


                        • #13
                          If anything, she should be happy with the voting structure. What is is, 15 or 17 municipalities with 75% pop or 21 overall? As in Edmonton needs to pick up support from more than half of them to pass anything? The 21 of the other 24 can easily gang up on Edmonton and there's not much we could do about it. That's more than generous.


                          • #14
                            The voting structure is like that? Well that doesn't seem very fair to me. If I add up the population of the 21 smallest municipalities I think it comes out somewhere around 12.5% of the region's population. If it had at least 20% of the region's population I would be less concerned about it. A fifth sounds much better than an eighth. If I had a choice in the matter I would live with it as is rather than not have something worked out.

                            Personally I was hoping they would merge all the villages and a couple of small towns into their local county as specialized municipalities similar to Sherwood Park - Strathcona County. I'm a little uncomfortable with such small municipalities, some with a thousandth (or less) the population of Edmonton. having a vote.

                            I'll definitely be waiting for the details tomorrow. I can easily see that being a very hot topic for the next week or so.


                            • #15
                              I didn't realize that they had released the voting plan. Olesen said it was not yet decided. If that is it, I'm glad they are going with qualified majority voting in some vein. If the EU can make it work I'm sure this region can.