Somebody please show me where district representation provides any better government than at-large representation. It may be cheaper for candidates to run, but that isn't the city's problem. Until the electorate is willing to fund campaigns, candidates are going to have to deal with the unpleasant business of raising money. If a candidate can't raise enough money, maybe that person should not be elected.
It is the main function of the city to maintain infrastructure and provide police and fire protection. The nature of a neighborhood is determined by the residents. At one time it was possible to build a subdivision without sidewalks or sewer service. This lowered the cost of housing and was believed to be a good idea. There are still neighborhoods lacking sidewalks because the property owners don't want to pay for them. The pride of ownership determines the appearance of the property.
If there are drug dealers in a neighborhood, it is because that is where the customers are.
I am afraid that we are ready to buy into this fad like we did laetrile, the Atkins diet, chain letters, adjustable-rate mortgages, bottled water, etc. Be careful, folks. After we make the jump, it's awful hard to turn back.