This post was not written with any connection direct or indirect to the casino debate in mind.

Two weeks ago, a column by Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig titled “Decentralization is not something to fear” was published in the Waterloo Region Record. I responded with a letter to the editor printed on April 27. Here is what I said:

Decentralization is not the answer

Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig is correct that reducing the number of municipal governments will  not achieve significant cost savings. There’s also not likely to be savings to be found from regional services.

But Craig does not provide a single example of how decentralizing any current regional service could save any money or be more efficient.

The strongest reason for regional services is to use tax dollars more efficiently and effectively.

I support a regional fire service because I am confident we would be safer and better protected. I want a Kitchener based fire truck to respond to a Cambridge fire if it can provide the quickest response—something that currently fails to happen.

I’d like to see snow plows that cross municipal borders rather than turn around. Let’s give contractors one set of rules, regulations, approvals and processes rather than three or more. Why compete against ourselves for development or have duplicate staff collaborating, when we could have one economic development department working for the best interests of everyone in Waterloo Region.

Decentralization is not the answer to a better quality of life. Recognizing we are one community and working as one benefits all of us.

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