Saint John city council is hoping the New Brunswick government's promise to reform its relationship with municipalities will bring them new powers and new sources of revenue.
City council will discuss its wish list of reforms on Tuesday.
The Municipalities Act sets out the rules under which cities, towns and villages operate. New Brunswick municipalities have relatively few powers when compared to the rest of the country.
For example, Saint John spent years trying to win rights to knock down privately owned dangerous or dilapidated buildings, something that required a vote in the legislature.
A committee of municipal leaders and provincial government appointees has spent the last four months considering ways to reform the Municipalities Act to give the municipalities more power.
Longtime Coun. Bill Farren said in the future he wants cities to be able to make their own decisions on what are clearly local responsibilities.
Farren said there also have to be changes to the way cities are financed.
"Even taxation on our own buildings. Fredericton collects taxes on civic buildings," he said.
Fellow city councillor and former city mayor Shirley McAlary sits on the committee working on the file for Saint John. She said any change must ensure new sources of revenue for the cities.
"It's the urban centres in the province that make the province go… we're saying that cities should be able to make their own decisions. But along with making all those decisions we need to be able to make sure we have the funding," she said.
"You can't download a whole lot of responsibilities to the local government and then not provide the funding for them."
McAlary said she believes the province is sincere in its promise to reform the Municipalities Act.
It remains largely unchanged since the 1960s.