Monday, November 04, 2013

Unite North Vancouver

This week's North Shore News has a cover story (with a rather dapper photograph) about George Pringle's new organization Unite North Van.  The group plans to run candidates in both of the North Vancouvers during the upcoming municipal elections.

Do check out their web site for much more information.

As is almost always the case when amalgamations are proposed, the claim is that somehow great savings will be found and taxpayers will be enriched.  The fact this has yet to happen anywhere is never considered.

After thirty years of successive politicians trumpeting their goal of "cutting the fat", "trimming the budget", "finding efficiencies", "eliminating duplication", privatising,  contracting out, and generally trashing the reputations of hard working municipal staff, there isn't much of anything left to be cut.

Unless you're prepared to start eliminating some pretty popular or essential services - say sports fields and fire trucks - there's nothing left to chop.

Unless you believe that the employees of either the District or City are literally working only half time you can't seriously argue that there are more than a handful of people that could be fired without it mucking up the delivery of essential services.

The stuff that District and City employees do now will still need to be done, and you'll need pretty much the same number of people to it.

Still, despite all of that, amalgamation is good idea, and arguably many decades overdue.  The idea of the geographically tiny City existing in the middle of the District is an absurd one.

Whatever historical imperatives created that situation are surely no longer relevant.

My amalgamation experiences were with Toronto and Hamilton Ontario.  These were both forced marriages which tried to merge suburban communities with an urban core, and both have had serious problems.

In Toronto this is what created the political landscape that gave them Mayor Rob Ford.  In Hamilton it led to an outwardly focused series of Councils at a time when the urban core and the manufacturing centre of the city were both in deep decline.

In both cases the centre of the new city tended to be viewed as somewhere that residents commuted to and from.  Or in Hamilton's case - avoided entirely.

The District and the City can't be compared to Hamilton/Flamborough or Toronto/905.  I think it's fair to say that the vast majority of North Vancouver people neither know nor care where their respective municipalities end.

In practice it just doesn't matter to most people. Lynn Valley residents drive into the City to shop, and City people drive over to Rona and Canadian Tire for hardware.  And both travel to West Vancouver for all of the things that you can't buy here.

To a large degree there's no significant cultural or demographic difference between the two.  Very, very few people will want to live only in the City or the District - they're interchangeable.

It's because the two municipalities are so similar that amalgamation makes sense.

The District and the City already share a lot of resources - fire fighting; the RCMP; recreational facilities ; the School Board.  District and City staff already talk, share ideas, and coordinate between them. Making the remaining services consistent and available to all North Vancouver residents just makes sense.

What a united North Vancouver would offer though is a stronger voice when lobbying for the things that only a Provincial or Federal government can provide.

One large city has more clout than two small ones when dealing the likes of Translink or various government ministries.  When you consider the many ways that the Province in particular calls the shots for municipalities that could be a valuable thing.




51 comments:

Unite North Van said...

My first amalgamation experience was in Ottawa where Mike Harris forced merge 15 municipalities. The big problem was that there was a wide diverance in the union contracts so that they had to give the highest level of pay in one to all of the rest.

CUPE 389 represents both the City and the District and the contracts are almost the same.

It's not union members doing the job (there will be the same amount of grass to be cut) but the numbers of managers and supervisors that can be cut.

And of course politicans, one Mayor and 6 (or 8 if we have to) rather than 2 mayors and 12 councillors.

One expensive Chief Administrative Officer, one City Hall with one being sold.

And one vision of a city that can make it's own path, better united than divided.

Anonymous said...

So, what are the pros and cons from the perspective of each municipality? The article mentions 'myths' but doesn't tell us what those are. How are you going to educate/convince the voting public to come on side? I see a lot of words, but nothing that really explains to us what the real and perceived issues are and how you're going to address them. People who don't have a long history in the community may not be aware of the issue at all! I'd appreciate it if George could present something that will answer these questions.

Anonymous said...

The big pro for each municipality is the potential to reduce the future increase of taxes and fund growth out of cost savings. The big con is the perception of an even less accountable Council... but when the voter turnout is 16 to 19 % most of the time there is not much chance of a change.

I think you can assume that the people who are invested in the status quo are the ones most likely to vote...and they will vote down any initiative like this even it if makes practical sense.

Anonymous said...

I think finding candidates who will commit to supporting amalgamation will be a tough road. Better to find those who would support a feasability study maybe as a first step.

George Pringle said...

The UniteNV blog will have more details, I will be putting a few posts up to further explain the goal or pros and cons as you put it.
http://unitenorthvan.blogspot.ca

The process itself is important as the provincial government does not have the authority to force amalgamation. A motion from each Council so requiring 4 pro-amalgamation votes is required to direct that a plan is drawn up. Likely, they would form a joint committee to do this work as the A-plan would have to be ratified by each Council before going to a referendum in both municipalities. Of with pro-amalgamation Councillors having a majority, the Plan has to be friendly to them.

The first objective is to reduce the spending as the core task is actually merging the budgets. One North Van with a Council of 7 or 9 member rather than 2 Councils of 7. There are is also excluded staff (Managers, etc) that become redundant. Barry and I may disagree about the spending levels but a merger leaves the same amount of grass to be cut, the same sidewalks, sewers and other municipal property to be serviced so really the same amount of grasscutters. But at a management level we only need one structure to manage the grasscutters to stick to that analogy. The essence of amalgamation is a merger of the two budgets in a practical viewpoint.

We would only have one city manager or Chief Administrative Officer as they are now called, one City Clerk, one Director of Finance etc, and the their staff.

So the financial question can come up differently depending on the Amalgamation Plan, some may want Co-City Managers as to not to have to let senior staff go. I would not. But whatever comes out is voted on by the citizens of both municipalities.

The second "pro" is that of planning, for example both municipalities had groups to study the future of Marine Drive. Aside from the extra expense of redundant studies, both were written as if there was a big wall on border at MacKay and did not effectively look at the big picture of how the whole area would be developed.

That's enough red meat for the moment,2 days after the party launch, we all will have a year to mull details over before the next election.

George Pringle said...

The Myth/Fact terms is one that I should explain more.

Mayor Mussatto is the myth maker, he will point at the example of the forced almagamation of Toronto and their failure to come up with any significant savings.

The new Toronto, an area of 22 federal ridings where initially there was one Councillor elected and a region wide Mayor was what the province imposed. But the resulting Council increased that by 22 Councillors and their staff. The resulting merge of the bureaucracy was done in such a way to add staff, making the goal of saving money impossible.
The fact is that we in North Van don't face the same situation. It is not trying to force a marriage between an urban core and a surrounding suburbania.
The fact is we're talking about the north and south side of 29th street.

If we were on the Toronto path, we would be merging all the Lower Mainland, eliminating Metro Vancouver and electing one Councillor per provincial riding and eliminating the Council of Vancouver, Surrey and Richmond etc.

It's apples and oranges or a myth/fact. The argument over points of merging the District and the City need to be focused on re-uniting what was broken in 1907 not whether you like the Maple Leafs or not.

Anonymous said...

GP said, "It is not trying to force a marriage between an urban core and a surrounding suburban."

Isn't this exactly what is being tried? City (urban) vs. DNV (suburban)

Anonymous said...

Finding candidates that will commit to amalgamation is actually not tough, finding serious candidates that will subject themselves to having George Pringle as their representative will be tough.

Despite his years of experience in politics, George only managed to get the support of 8% of the city voters, and he ran on an amalgamation platform.

What makes you think that having 4 Georges in the city and 4 in the District will make any difference?

He ran a terrible campaign, with no fundraising, no public presence, and placed third behind an absolute unknown Ron Polly. At least Ron connected with a particular neighborhood, George didn't.

George if you want to attract serious politicians to your iteration of this cause, show them that you can actually help them get elected, make them indebted to you because you have struck a chord with the community and it would be perilous for them to go against you... 8% in the polls, and a NSNews article ain't going to do it.

Anonymous said...

"but when the voter turnout is 16 to 19 % most of the time there is not much chance of a change."

Oh the voter turnout rates!!!

CNV Turnout
2011 21.20%
*2008 17.67%
2005 22.37%
2002 26.13%
1999 25.99%

DNV Turnout
2011 20.96%
*2008 16.58%
2005 30.03%
2002 35.94%
1999 34.90%

nb 2008 both Mayors were acclaimed, with no Mayor's race the turnout was unusually low, otherwise there is not a single election in the 16 - 19 range that you said was the majority. Oops.

Anonymous said...

George only managed to get the support of 8% of the city voters, and he ran on an amalgamation platform.

Ouch.

George Pringle said...

Anon 1:59

Both the City and District are suburban. Vancouver is the urban core.

Anonymous said...

Sorry George, but I disagree. Vancouver doesn't enter into this equation. The CNV is, by design, the higher density residential & commercial (urban) core of North Vancouver, while the DNV is the sprawling suburb which surrounds it. Let's stay on topic and use relevant descriptors for the two municipalities.

Anonymous said...

The City of North Vancouver is certainly high enough density to be considered an urban area, but relatively few DNV suburban people commute to the CNV for work, so while it may be urban in density, it is not the urban core for the District, Vancouver is.

Anonymous said...

It's a good policy, but George isn't the right person to be leading the charge. No serious credible candidates are going to present themselves to be "vetted" by George, who I'd gather from the article is a self-appointed dictator of the movement.

Even an open, grassroots party of this nature would have trouble selling the dream, I think. There are two enemies to amalgamation:

1. Apathy -(way too few people vote in municipal elections, which leads to problem number 2...

2. Self-interest. Way too many city employees who you can bet will turn out to vote (along with families neighbours and friends) to defeat any idea of amalgamation.

Realistically, the only way you get municipalities getting together is when it is done by force like in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Without that impetus from the provincial government, it isn't going to happen.

Not that it shouldn't.

Anonymous said...

DNV's History of Amalgamation

There have been thirteen attempts to recombine the City and the District over the last hundred years.

There is support on the DNV council to study it again, but I doubt the CNV will entertain it. Darrell Mussatto is against it and as long as he is popular enough he can simply ignore it.

My guess is that George will have exactly 0 candidates with elected experience.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 1:29

You are assuming "elected experience" is good. There are many people who want new blood at both North Vancouver town halls.

Anonymous said...

Not very many people according to the last election.

Griffin said...

Well, there's going to be new blood for certain in DNV with two and possibly four councilors calling it a day. That in itself is an opportunity for fresh thinking.

Over at the City, Ken Tollstam is nearing retirement so if amalgamation actually happens, it could be timed so there was only be one CAO on the payroll. Staff are not going to be the ones losing their jobs, it's the high priced managers who should worry. But there are so many people earning over 100K annually that a little paring and pruning certainly wouldn't hurt.

John Sharpe said...

Maybe I'm thinking out loud, but with low turnouts of 20.96% and 21.20% (2011) wouldn't there be opportunity for the 'A Troops' so show up in relatively large proportion and swing the vote in favour of 'A' candidates?

Most of the folks I talk to(mostly DNV folks) don't understand why 2 North Vans still exist. If you could get those people to get out and vote, and if they knew who they were voting for (a lot of if's) then you might at least elect some 'pro A candidates'.

Anonymous said...

Darrell Mussatto and his gang are not on board so we might as well forget the whole idea of amalgamation at this time.

Anonymous said...

It isn't just about getting politicians on side, but I believe that if this goes to a vote it requires 60% or more in favour in both the City and the District for amalgamation to go ahead. So, Mussatto and his gang (or whoever else is at the helm) could be all for it, but if the public doesn't support it, it isn't going to happen. The pro-amalgamation group needs to start developing a comprehensive sales plan to the public that explains exactly how amalgamation can benefit the public. You'll need to be completely up front and clear about the benefits and the negatives. I've not seen George do this in any shape or form. His 'myths' are, to me, nothing but a lot of words about what Massatto thinks. I want to hear what George and his amalgamation proponents think. I want to hear the pros and cons. I want to hear why I should be interested in the City sharing its tax base with a sprawling District. A District with an aging infrastructure that is very soon going to cost a lot of money to repair. This is going to take a lot more than politics, this is going to take salesmanship. Just remember that most people aren't stupid and will know when their being fed a line. Time for George to step up to the plate and convince us. Based on his past performance here, I don't think he's up to the task.

Barry Rueger said...

Thinking about this further, and reading the comments, a few things come to mind.

Although I don't have the CNV and DNV employee lists at hand, I'm still highly skeptical that there are any significant savings to found. Managing or overseeing a hundred employees requires X amount of man-hours. Managing two hundred employees requires, if not 2X the amount of man-hours, something pretty close to that.

Any suggestion that more than a handful of managers can just be removed with no loss to the organizational function is based on an assumption that many of the senior staff at the DNV and CNV are doing less than a full time job.

Just because a lot of people believe that does not make it so.

Would there be significant savings in having one Council instead of two? Again, I remain unconvinced.

Even assuming that the new merged Council will have less people on Council is a leap of faith, both because elected members won't want to give up their jobs, and because neither the DNV or CNV voters will want to "give up" the people from their neck of the woods.

My guess is that you'll still wind up with eight or ten Councillors.

If the plan is to significantly reduce that number it will need to be stated up front, and the organizers will need to explain how voters will manage to not see less effective representation for their neighborhood or community.

Anyone up for a Ward system?

Even if you could knock the number of counselors down to half the current number, you need to ask whether any savings that can be found will exceed the very real, and likely very large costs of merging two corporations into one.

Amalgamating the District and City is not just a matter of choosing which City Hall gets sold off and ordering new letterhead.

It will be a large, expensive, and complex process to merge dozens of departments and regimes; to rationalize service delivery; to physically move hundreds of people into new, renovated workspaces; and to combine accounting and other support services.

Did I mention expensive? Really expensive.

Could you lose one or more senior CAO type positions? Maybe. Would that realize any really significant long term savings? Doubtful.

Again, those people do actually do something, and if that something is to continue happening it will require a trained person to do it. It's not enough to say that two senior people's jobs could just be done by one person. You need to be able to demonstrate how that could happen.

All of which leads me to think that it's foolish to think that anyone will see tax cuts as a result of Amalgamating.

However, it's still a good idea, and is long overdue.

I'll still stick with the belief that the single biggest reason to amalgamate is to create a unified City that will have more clout in dealing with senior levels of government.

(The "We tried it before and it didn't work" complaint really isn't worth much. Times change, people change. Results change.)

(To try and say that DNV is "rural" and CNV is "urban" is a bit silly. The density of populated parts of the DNV is about the same as any residential neighbourhood in the City.

A subdivision is a subdivision; a single family detached house is a single family detached house.

The DNV has lots more undeveloped land, and backs on to the mountains, but the residential and commercial spaces are pretty well the same.)

Griffin said...

For an area the size of a merged DNV/CNV, it's doubtful that we would need more than eight councilors. And there are many more duplicated senior personnel than just the City Managers. Fire Chiefs for one.

More people in the City support amalgamation than Mussatto imagines, and I really wish he would give them a chance to be heard. His resistance makes me think that it's more about protecting his own turf than anything else.

Unite North Van said...

It's always good to look at the actual Government legislation to see how things HAVE to work. The Community Charter Act or the Local Government Act in this case.

The size of the council is clear, it will be 9, I'd rather have 7 but it will be 9. Section 118

That's one Mayor and support staff. Plus the cost of a four councillors two. We have a combined 12 now and will have 8.

The structure of Council is something for the plan which actually goes to a binding referendum. No one else but the voters of North Van can bind any facet of amalgamation and their opinion must be paramount.

Mayor Walton has surmised that there should be 4 Councillors elected from each area and an overall elected Mayor. Such a system could be a transitory measure. The ideas can be discussed but Unite North Van shouldn't bind itself to one method, that is for the Plan which some have suggested should be made in a Citizen's Assembly.

In 147,8 and 9 three corporate officers are mandated by the province, the CAO, the Council Clerk and the Finance Officer. There won't be more that established or co-CAOs to get around that. The Act trumps it. 2 offices become 1. These are all excluded staff so outside the union contract. The Council can add more officers but that will require a motion of a new Council.

The CC act also clearly states a ratifying referendum requires 50+1 not 60% Section 279

Barry- I think your management premise is wrong, it's two opinions.

There is a process in the Act in BC.

1. All affected municipalities (Councils) must past a motion to instruct that an amalgamation plan is written. This the place to discuss details and decide details. I see a joint committee as a part of this is more a negotiation than a simple drafting exercise. One of the 'nuts and bolts" will be merging of the bylaws. I see staff, councillors and citizens being a part of this. Personally I see this but others like the citizens assembly method. Perhaps a combination of both could work.

2. Each plan has to passed by both Councils exactly if it is amended both must agree.

3 It is brought before the people for a ratification vote, of those who vote not of the whole population. (I've been asked that a couple of times)

IF there is 4 votes on each Council in Dec 2014 - it starts. I see a ratification vote happening during the next actual election in 2017 but the province and the councils may want a ratification earlier in 2016 to hold an election for all of North Van during regular BC elections in 2017. I'd rather wait, have more time to develop the plan and save the cost of an extra election.

Anonymous said...

Barry doesn't know what he's talking out when it comes to redundant positions.

Starting with the Councils. From 14 positions to 9 - a 35% reduction. Then eliminating the 2 CAO's and the duplication of the Directors of the major areas, 2 Finance Directors, 2 Engineering Directors, 2 Fire Chiefs, 2 Clerks, 2 HR Directors/Managers. Then paring their various administrative assistants, deputies etc. Then down to the duplicate functional managers.

The larger cities such as Burnaby, Vancouver, Richmond don't have 2 CAOs, and 2 of each Director so why would we still need them? Just in the top echelon there is easily in the $millions in savings EVERY YEAR not to mention a better coordination of NV planning and capital purchasing with economies of scale.

Initial one-time set-up expense, yes, with little to no savings.

Ongoing overall savings yes.

Barry Rueger said...

Oh wow. 11 positions eliminated, plus a few subordinate staff.

Except hold on, you'll need most of the subordinates back to do the work that they were doing already, or for the work that will flow downwards from the one person left at the top.

The problem again is this: those people are doing something each day at work.

That something does not disappear.

By your logic we should fire all of the Fire Chiefs in the Lower Mainland because surely just having one region wide Chief would be so much cheaper.

Heck, lets just have one Fire Chief for the whole province!

If you're going to propose that a position can just disappear, then you also need to tell how the work will get done. Either you need the position, or someone else in the corporate structure has to absorb more work.

Still though the really big question is how much a merger would actually cost. I'm thinking several tens of millions, if not more.

Anonymous said...

Barry. In NV City you have a Fire Chief and a slate of subordinate chiefs running ONE firehall.

The City of Vancouver has 20 fire stations. By your absurd logic they should have a Fire Chief and full slate of subordinate officers to run each one.

The FC with benefits earns in excess of $150,000 with his subordinates all over $120,000 with benefits.

Even retaining a couple of the lower end, less expensive subordinates to help with the amalgamated Fire Dept. and eliminating the duplicate more expensive talent would kick off a savings on it's way to $1/2 million every year.

Duplicate Directors all making over $150 with benefits x 5 = $3/4 million. Add in the fire chiefs and we're approaching a $million and haven't even looked at councillors and duplicate sr. management.

Sure a $million here or a $million there might be peanuts to you but to most of us on planet earth it isn't.

George Pringle said...

Not to avoid Barry's point but there is big wall between our beliefs. Like Sir Humphrey on "Yes Minister" Barry seems to believe that one must add staff in order to reduce staff. I don't.

One question on the cost of the process though, the Provincial Government will fund the costs of building the A-Plan and some of the costs of transition.

As I mentioned, I've started to look at this as merging the two budgets, I'll be doing blog posts on each cost center of the budget to have something more tangible to talk about.

What I actually wanted to bring up was about the Translink referendum which I see as really increasing turn out. In the City last time, 6828 voted. I see about 10,000 voters in 2014. Not even the provincial levels but a serious increase. These voters will come from from both sides of the issue but as we don't even have a question yet, who knows. More people who would to stop increased taxes or more translink users who want increased non-North Shore services? They will also have a municipal in their hand.

Anonymous said...

I'm still not seeing any kind of plan or outline of benefits & drawbacks to amalgamation that the average voter is going to understand, let alone embrace. I would have thought this sort of thing would be in place long before the proposal was even publicized. Are we going to see anything like this?

Anonymous said...

You still haven't said what you bring to the table George.

You've only managed 8% in the polls so why do you think you add any value for a candidate?

It would be different if you were doing the leg work to raise a bunch of funds from the Chamber members. Or you brought a significant Mayoral candidate to run under.

Do you have either of those? Or something else, anything?

Anonymous said...

I am not a GP Fan but I will say that how HE fared in the polls when he ran has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that there is a huge duplication of services and real estate in the two North Vancouvers and that is what he is promoting, so stop discrediting his efforts here because of the results when he ran for Council. One has nothing to do with the other.

Amalgamation would save taxpayers money BIG TIME and eliminate a lot of confusion amongst residents. Why some people are showing such resistance, and throwing out a bunch of red herrings to boot, is beyond me. NVC and NVD are not New York, not even Toronto FGS, so why on earth should there be two municipalities within such a small piece of real estate? It would make life so much simpler for everybody to amalgamate, and from what I'm reading with regard to the mill rate, it would even save City residents a few tax dollars. Hello.......

Anonymous said...

Good post Anon 12:20. I have no idea who George is and really don't care.

The idea is bigger than the individual and amalgamation is an idea that is so obvious that one can only imagine that those opposed have some vested interest in the status quo.

Anonymous said...

The one thing that immediately comes to mind is the cost of infrastructure in the sprawling DNV compared to the compact infrastructure in the City. The former is aging and will need replacing. That will come at a huge cost. Why would the residents of the City want to take that on? Will benefits of amalgamation offset those coats? These are the sorts of things I think George needs to have answers for. People are going to want to see real numbers showing the costs and savings of amalgamation.

I don't care about Georges past attempts at running for council. I do care about having all the information presented in a way that voters will understand. Show us the pros and cons as well as the costs and savings and let us decide.

George Pringle said...

To repeat (and expand) Saturday's 6pm comment I made:

(There is a process in the Act in BC.) Gordon Campbell laid out a legal procedure. Some District councillors who want to push for amalgamation ran against the "Mussatto roadblock". All the "Blue Ribbon Committees" were never even struck, prior studies and plans sit in old dusty file cabinets. To break that roadblock, they lobby the Provincial Government to change the law and force an amalgamation aka Mike Harris. The Prov Govt refused each time.

As I commented prior,

1. All affected municipalities (Councils) must past a motion to instruct that an amalgamation plan is written. This the place to discuss details and decide details. I see a joint committee as a part of this is more a negotiation than a simple drafting exercise."

Details are at this point. Broad strokes can discussed prior but the writing of a specific Plan, in the best case scenario won't happen until 2015. In May of 2014 UNV will pick its candidates. In November of 2014 we will have an election. In December, there may or may not be a motion passed by both councils to strike a joint negotiating committee to draft a specific Amalgamation Plan as required by provincial law. At some point, (June 2015 or September 2015 or ?)

Finally, the Plan must be brought to the people of North Van to be ratified by binding referendum. 50+1 is required in each old municipality and the Province will do the legal part to create one North Van.

This Joint Committee will decide the various details and the citizens to decide if it is acceptable.

As one example, I cannot present how the new Council will be structured or whether there will be a transition structure. Other than the Law which dictates a Mayor and 8 Councillors, it is the committee, with wide public consultation, that makes this decision and North Van residents who agree to it or not.

Mayor Walton has suggested a transitory structure where the old city boundaries elect 4 Councillors and the District elect 4 Councillors and everyone votes for a Mayor. Like we had two wards. With the District having a greater population some there may not like it but it's a way of addressing the fear of some in the city that amalgamation is really a take over of the City by the District.

But there are many models to be discussed by the committee.

What I am suggesting is a way to break though that roadblock. The District branch may decide to run 2 candidates in the District, perhaps 3 or 4 or even 6 with a Mayor.

The City branch will run at least 4 candidates if someone suitable wants to run for Mayor they have to convince the Society Board that we should approve them as UNV candidate.

George Pringle said...


As I have said, amalgamation in one sense is a merger of the budgets.

The expenses in the CNV's 2012 Statement of Financial Information, the last audited number we have and submitted to the Provincial Government is $88,645,000 and the District is $145,714,565.

I will do a blog post on the UNV site looking at in a cost center and look what savings in that area, amalgamation would create.

Let's quickly look at Protective Services (Police, fire and bylaw enforcement).

The CNV 2012 expenses were $21,558,000 and the DNV expenses were $36,477,706.
Federal Government for policing services. There is only one HQ and it easy to assume there the expense would for a merged NV would be just a total of the two.

The point of amalgamation is the actual merger not different policy structures. Any future changes is the business of a new Council.

In the case of Fire Protection and there are two departments and a recent study showed that a North Shore merger would save $3.6 million. I think it is safe to say a North Van merger would save us a bout $2 million.

The two Bylaw enforcement functions of the CNV and the DNV is a smaller version of the usual case we should see. A cohort of people at the base of the pyramid and excluded management at the top. The financial statements filed with the government display a level where you don't see the details of each unit. Over the next ten months, I'll figure out some broad strokes and try to get more detailed unit budgets.

George Pringle said...

To Anon at 8:51 this morning.
Both the CNV and DNV have accommodated infrastructure replacement.

The DNV has a system of reserve funds creating an accumulated surplus of $542 million, most earmarked for future work.

The CNV has $315 million as their accumulated surplus.

Statutory and non-statutory reserve funds is a blog piece I will do in the future.

Anonymous said...

George's experience is relevant. He is not simply vetting a group of politicians and putting out a few ads in their favour on a single issue, he is starting his own political party.

Griffin said...

Your point being....? I'm not sure that he's creating a political party per se, it's a coalition of like-minded individuals with the single goal of uniting the two North Vancouvers.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Griffin. It's probably sue cook or some other gp hater.

Anonymous said...

Good on you George. Savings would be in the millions and maybe tens of millions.

Removing the redundant layer of fat is a long time coming.

An additional benefit will be the ability to fill positions with people that live within the municipality and have a vested interest as opposed to others that are simply lined up at the teat of local government.

Anonymous said...

7:25 PM are you suggesting that the municipality will only be able to hire its employees from residents of that municipality? How would that work? Will that rule then be extended to private business as well?

Anonymous said...

7:55 Seriously dude? Simply put it could be advantageous to be able to hire from within the municipality. Not only do you work for the company you also hold stock…Get it?

Anonymous said...

They can hire from within the municipality now. So what's your point? Are you or are you not suggesting that this be a requirement to hiring policy?

Anonymous said...

8:48
Unfortunately you may never get the point, perhaps all the more reason to increase the size of the gene pool by combining the two municipalities?

I see no reference in any posts to implement any type of policy that is something you have conceived.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:02PM,

Thursday, November 14, 2013 7:25:00 pm said,

"An additional benefit will be the ability to fill positions with people that live within the municipality and have a vested interest as opposed to others that are simply lined up at the teat of local government."

I was merely asking, "are you suggesting that the municipality will only be able to hire its employees from residents of that municipality? How would that work? Will that rule then be extended to private business as well?"

I'm not sure why you're so upset with my asking for clarification of what was said. Is this person suggesting only hiring local citizens or not? Can we not discuss this in a civilized manner?

Anonymous said...

To make it real simple for you, no I am not suggesting that the municipality will only be able to hire its employees from residents. Clear enough?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification. Not sure the reason for the nastiness, though. Hope it makes you feel better about yourself.

Anonymous said...

Amalgamation would clear up the confusion for people living on the east side of Grand Blvd. One street is CNV, while the other street is DNV. Only the garbage collectors know for sure. Lol!

Anonymous said...

Look at the fire hydrants...

Red body with white caps City
White body with red caps District

Anonymous said...

Oh, thanks...I'm really glad you clarified that!

Let's confine our discussions to the benefits of amalgamation, of which there are many.

For starters, only one COO, immediate savings at least a quarter of a mil.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone actually put together anything showing what the real savings will be? Not just assumed savings but something that actually compares savings vs. costs of the combined municipalities? What will the actual staffing and management look like? I can see the loss of a few management positions, but can't see such a huge change to staffing that there would be huge savings. What of the immediate and long term costs of amalgamation? Has anyone done the real analysis on this?