In 2003, I was hired by Professor Stan Drabek to work on a report for the Federation of Calgary Communities. We looked at “community councils” in Portland, OR, Aukland, NZ, and Tokyo, JP, explaining how these might work in Calgary, devolving some local matters to community councils that wished to form within a larger municipal entity.
It went nowhere.
The City of Calgary considered it a threat to the centralized authority and control they exercised over what once were flourishing and unique communities.
I remain thankful for the independence of Vulcan County, the Town of Vulcan, and the five villages. Bureaucratic behemoths do not serve the public good. The dollars are much harder to follow and local connection is lost.
One of the great struggles we face is building political consensus that respects:
– the importance of “limited local government,” and
– the collaborative frameworks that make smaller government viable.