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View from the Cordillera

A Commentary on Achieving Excellence in Local Government
Read by Municipal Leaders on 4 Continents
Published by the Cordillera Institute
(Vol. 4, Issue 7)
Restoring Our Disappearing Rail Services (part 1)
To order the full text of this commentary or to become a subscriber, see the notes below.

Summary of This Commentary
This commentary was sparked by an article about the possible end of rail service to several communities in northern Ontario.  If you are in Alberta or Missouri or California or the State of Victoria, you may be wondering what this has to do with local government in your back yard — especially since the end of rail service, and the closing of rail lines, has been going on for several decades.  There are 2 reasons.  The 1st is that your community may face a similar situation in the years ahead.  The 2nd is that a series of poor policy choices by our senior governments have left us with an incomplete — and much less efficient — transportation system.  This matters to every community because it raises the price of everything that is moved by some form of transportation.  That includes many of the products used to construct your municipal buildings, the machinery and equipment that you operate, the materials you use on your roads, the furnishings and supplies in your offices ...  When we reduce the cost of something, we are freeing up precious resources.  In this current economic downturn especially, can we afford to overlook opportunities to strengthen our bottom lines?  But, before considering solutions, it's important to understand the background.  So, in this issue, we see why rail services are disappearing, what policymakers have done, what role the regulators played, and what results they have produced.  With an understanding of how we came to be in this mess, we will be better prepared to choose solutions which work — and to reject those which don't.

As always, we welcome your comments.

David Barber
Director
Cordillera Institute
(416) 293-9300
CordInst@istar.ca
http://pages.istar.ca/~cordinst/



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You may become a subscriber to View from the Cordillera by sending us an email with the word 'Subscribe' in the subject line.  Please include your name, title, and organization.  We will email you a confirmation of your subscription and an invoice for your records.  A basic subscription (50 issues) is just $50 per person.  That's only $1 per issue.  If your elected officials or management team would like to subscribe as a group, enquire about our special group subscription rates.

To Inform Your Colleagues and Associates
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About This Publication
Each issue of View from the Cordillera covers some aspect of excellence in local government.  It may examine one of the success elements; it may present a case study; it may introduce a resource (an individual, a group, a publication, etc.) which is advancing excellence; it may advocate a new direction for local government; or it may identify a wrong turn in public policy and offer an appropriate remedy.  This electronic publication is read by those who govern, manage, support, and sustain our local governments.  For more information, just click on the About VFC button below.

About the Cordillera Institute
The Cordillera Institute is an independent research and public policy organization dedicated to excellence in local government.  Since our founding in 1994, we have studied many high-performance organizations to learn what makes them successful.  From this research, we have distilled a set of principles, paradigms, policies, programs, and practices which are the key elements of their success.  Our mission is to be a catalyst — to empower municipalities, school boards, public utilities, and other local public agencies to achieve excellence by adopting and applying these success elements.  For more information, just click on the About CI button below.

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