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October 15, 2023

Letter to the Editor: Let's eliminate the municipal level of government and streamline bylaws county wide

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR — Grey county (population 100905) has 63 elected officials (1/1601), 10 CAO's, and over 100 directors of various departments. All CAO's and directors salaries range between 100k and 218k. Imagine the administrative savings across the county if we did away with the municipal level of government. Just reducing nine CAO's would save almost $2 million, imagine if we did away with 90 department directors and 45 municipal politicians.

This would require a streamlined government where rules and bylaws (planning, zoning, nuisance etc.) would be the same across the county.

At present, Grey Highlands asks for between 50 and 100 staff reports every year for things such as sign bylaws, horse manure, noise, etc. Almost every report has been written by other municipalities in the past, but each and every municipal government feels it necessary to reinvent the wheel and start fresh every time a councilor cannot make a decision and request a report. Other than specific zoning or planning reports, we are not any different from any other Grey county (or other Ontario rural) municipality. Our recent firearms bylaw took over 10 years to be completed and it is almost identical to over 50 other municipal firearms bylaws... imagine the staff hours, the same for the sign bylaw, the manure bylaw, etc..etc. etc.....

Recently, (after a staff report) it was decided to investigate lowering the speed limit in Eugenia, the report calls for 55 signs... Eugenia has only 17 streets!

This is not only an issue here in Grey Highlands, it's an issue in every rural Municipality.

If our local politicians really wanted to improve our quality of life, they would start the process to eliminate the municipal level of government and streamline the county to have the same bylaws county wide. Purchasing power would be increased, services would be streamlined and municipalities would not be poaching staff from each other by increasing wages.

Premier Ford, it's time to eliminate Municipal Government and set strict guidelines province wide.

Gary Gingras,
Grey Highlands


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