LETTER: Get amalgamation question on ballot

Regional government could lead to more cohesion in attracting conventions, concerts, sporting events

Re: Amalgamation ‘not a Saanich debate:’ Leonard (News, Sept. 12)

I think the question to be asked is Frank Leonard afraid of losing his power and job?

A real mayor listens to the people that pay their taxes and pay the employees of Saanich their wages. Hence the taxpayer.

Yes, the Mayor is elected, but he is also an employee of the district. When people have a position for as long as Frank Leonard, they seem to forget the taxpayers are the ones that pay their wages and pensions.

When you stop listening to the elected public, it’s time to move on.

When the Capital Region’s largest municipality denies the people a say on amalgamation, there is something wrong at municipal hall.

How can you believe that 350,000 people in 13 municipalities need 13 mayors, staff, city halls, city work yards and thousands of employees, overlapping of services, jobs and bylaws.

There are six police forces, when really only one force should do the work for 13 municipalities and 350,000 people.

The real question, I’m sure, is which city will become the token name and head of government. Victoria? Saanich?

And do we really need the Capital Regional District, another level of Government? As one big city, we could make the same decisions that 13 now do. Does it really matter at this point in time, when really, equal representation of all 13 municipalities could easily be achieved?

Of course, changing would have its hick-ups, but over time it would work out for the better and for the people.

Perhaps we could even all work as one and be able to build a really nice concert hall, and a really nice convention centre and have an NHL hockey team.

We would have the clout to bring in the big names for concerts, conventions and sporting events.

Everyone should be given the opportunity to have a say on amalgamation and the time to truly take a look at the pros and cons of amalgamation. Everyone needs to lobby Saanich mayor and council to agree to put the non-binding amalgamation question on the Nov. 15 ballot.

Paul Hammer

Saanich