Important Waverley Area Rate Vote Update!
Thanks to all the residents of Waverley who have provided ongoing support and encouragement regarding the proposed community area rate. The positive response from the community has been overwhelming.
Unfortunately, our plans to finalize the vote on October 31st have been delayed due to concerns that were brought forward by residents regarding some properties in the area that have multiple area assessment rates (AAR) associated with a single residence. As a result of this issue some residents received multiple ballots and therefore would have had multiple opportunities to vote. Also, had the vote gone forward as presented many residents would have been charged multiple times solely due to the way their property was subdivided decades ago.
Most of these instances apply to older properties along the Waverley road and a few within the village where a home may sit on a property made up of up to 5 smaller lots. In these rare cases the homeowners would have been charged 5x$35 under the proposed ballot.
Upon hearing of these concerns the WCA took both the issues of residents with multiple ballots and residents with potentially excessive property charges seriously. Some residents voiced that it was unfair that they would be charged multiple times. The WCA passed along these concerns early in the ballot process in an effort to address the issue prior to the public meeting and community vote in hopes that they could be rectified. Unfortunately, the issues were complex and we were unable to rectify them prior to the vote deadline.
It’s worth noting that many of the impacted residents who spoke at the public meeting indicated that although they were potentially being charged two or more times, they were still voting YES because they acknowledged great value in WCA initiatives. We think this speaks volumes to the level of support that the Waverley Community Association initiatives have within the community of Waverley. This feedback was encouraging to hear, however our findings still highlighted a blaring inequality within the current proposal regarding the application of a potential area rate.
We had hoped there would be a simple and effective way to rectify the concerns put forward in a way that was timely and equitable without disrupting the current vote. However, at the conclusion of the public ballot meeting many questions remained. Our Councillor, Cathy Deagle Gammon indicated she would follow up with HRM and the WCA executive once outstanding items had been clarified. All parties involved continue to work collaboratively to find a solution.
While it’s difficult to press pause on a campaign that had built significant momentum and excitement over the last number of weeks, the WCA wants residents to know that their voices have been heard and that we are working hard to ensure that the area rate is applied in the most fair and equitable way. The WCA is continuing to work with our councillor and HRM representatives to address the issues brought forward and we will continue to update the community as details emerge. As it stands, it seems unlikely that intention and application of this area rate vote can be dealt with independently. Therefore, it’s being recommended that another vote take place after updates to the ballot criteria are implemented.
While this delay is unfortunate, the changes being implemented are being done so to provide a more equitable result where residents aren’t unnecessarily paying more than their share. If we can prevent this, we should.
The WCA works to serve the community of Waverley. We want to get this right.
We thank you for your patience.
We will continue to plan and implement WCA events and activities as we wait for clarification.
We thank you for your continued support.
Please continue to check our social media accounts and websites for updates leading up to the AGM on November 28th, 2022
If you have questions for the Waverley Community Association, please contact us at Waverleycommunity@gmail.com
Or visit us online at the sites listed below