I like Waterloo pretty much the way it is so I do not personally support discussions on Amalgamation.  It seems to me that our two notable cities have somewhat different backgrounds, heritage and values and each is special in its own unique way.  Both cities have distinct and well-known identities that would be lost to a degree as components of some larger, blended entity.

On the cost side, it’s been shown that per capita, it costs more to run a large city than a smaller one.  It’s been estimated, based on mergers of other cities, that taxes might increase by 20-30%.  Simply entering discussions is estimated to be a significant expense to taxpayers (some have suggested upwards of 2 million dollars) at a time when nobody is interested in spending more money.  Other communities that have amalgamated are not all that positive about the result. 

However, it does make sense to support efforts to examine certain services and activities to see if there are any opportunities for collaboration.  Perhaps we could explore potential combined efficiencies in areas such as libraries, sports and some emergencies services.  It’s all about improving services while keeping costs down for the residents of Waterloo.

Nevertheless, it is a councillor’s duty to respect and uphold the wishes of the community and if elected, regardless of personal preferences, I will respect those wishes and work hard to represent your voice.    …Blaine

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