Consider your Consolidation
A plan is afoot in Syracuse, NY – one that might sound familiar to Dartmouthians. There’s one striking difference between the Syracuse experience and the Dartmouth experience, though:
>> A referendum will be required, and it will need majority support from the voters inside and outside the city. <<
This is governance with a base level of respect for the citizen, for due diligence, for due process, for democracy, for the rule of law.
Here in feudal Nova Scotia however – not even a non-binding plebiscite was required for the taskmasters at Province house to dissolve, by fiat, centuries-old municipalities.
A Province house rife with… opportunity – and the arrogance towards those who should be citizens but are in practice, merely serfs – the natural conclusion of a system of government that elects 51 fiefs who each see themselves as Kings.
Where is the responsible government we were promised?
“Under the plan, the city would be absorbed by surrounding Onondaga County. Syracuse would have no mayor, no police force and no economic development agency. Its city council would be merged into a 33-member county legislature, only five of whose districts would lie entirely within the city, which currently holds about a third of the county’s population.”
“No longer a city in its historic sense, Syracuse would become a “debt district.” Yes, those are the words the commission report uses. Residents of the evaporating metropolis would continue to be responsible for the crippling public pension debts that have threatened its solvency for years. There would still be a Syracuse school system, and this too would have to be paid for by those living inside the urban boundary. The county would not be asked to bail out school or pension debts.”
“Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is a proponent of local government mergers and an ally of the Onondaga county executive, is asking the state legislature to approve a bill that would require county officials to propose specific consolidation and service-sharing measures for their jurisdictions. If this passes, Mahoney could put a consolidation referendum on local ballots without having to ask for support from any other elected officials. Of course, such a referendum would still need majority support from the voters inside and outside the city. “