This letter was just sent to our Mayor and cc’d to all Councillors to explain why it’s important to defer the agenda item 14.1.6 Area Rate Review until the next meeting.
Mayor Mike Savage,
I write to you late tonight to request that you work with council and staff to defer the motion Item No 14.1.6 – Area Rate Review until HRM has followed their own due process.
This request is based on the three most pressing issues:
- the recommendation fails to follow HRMs own process for changing, removing or amending an existing area rate with an active ratepayers association.
- there are errors in the report that are relevant to the discussion.
- the failure to consult or inform the affected communities of changes designed to come into effect immediately.
I would expect other ratepayers associations will have similar concerns, but like us, were not informed that this report was completed in February and would be coming forward tomorrow.
While those issues listed above apply to more than one area rate, the changes recommended for 2018/19 for the LWF Rate include reducing the collected funds to $169,400 when the operating funds committed to for the current fiscal come to $174,923, assuming no grant expenses and disbursements.
None of the impacted ratepayers associations or the programs, events and facilities they support has had an opportunity to evaluate the implications of these changes and are already 3 months into the operating year.
Area rates were not passed until July 18, last year, so you have the latitude to defer this decision and let our communities share with you why they want and value area rates.
Trusting in your good judgement and faith in respect for community,
President, Lakeview-Windsor Junction-Fall River Ratepayers Association
Cc: Councillors, CAO