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Niagara Falls
Thursday, February 29, 2024
Letter: Four-city model is best choice for Niagara
Letter to the editor. File

Dear editor:

The pedantic Lord Mayor Gary Zalepa’s clearly agitated performance at the amalgamation meeting last week lobbying against change could have alone tossed the provincial standing committee enough justification to ignore the typical small-town thinking of what effective governance should look like.

Whereas Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati’s “too many cRooks in the kitchen” sober analogy was the best.

Zalepa has already by default pitched the concept of amalgamation by constantly trying to sell the shared services model that exists at the region.

What is really odd is Zalepa previously opined about not stripping villages and towns of their identities and yet he supports the destruction of the St. Davids village historical commercial centre by constructing a roundabout intersection through a flawed environmental assessment process.

Yet he stands tall against his bosses at the province trying to assert how much he understands about local governance within the context of the objectives of the province.

Zalepa clearly knows that under a four-city model he would lose to Diodati in an amalgamated new city vote and that is maybe what the province will now pursue with vigour. Maybe they’ll even assign Tory MPP Sam Oosterhoff to make sure of that after, having been scolded by a small-town, part-time lord mayor.

The reality is a new City of Niagara will not change the identity of the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake and, if implemented properly, the result would be a more effective and economically beneficial governance structure, not too dissimilar to what is being attempted by the shared services idea.

We also could use full-time leaders like Diodati to better ensure the implementation of effective governance, lower taxes and getting some housing constructed.

Amalgamation in the form of a four-city model will be good for everybody.

Peter Rusin
St. Davids

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