Some time in November, residents of Musquodoboit Harbour will be asked to vote on whether to keep a local area rate tax that brings in $10,000 per year to spend on community recreational needs. (See the related story, "Vote in November on Fate of Recreation Fund.") The ballot will come in the mail.
The Cooperator supports voting to keep this local area rate. The rate itself is very low, only a half-cent per $100 of assessed value, or $10 on a $200,000 assessment.
But more importantly, this rate creates a pool of money, about $10,000 this year, to spend on local recreational needs that does not need approval from the bureaucrats in downtown Halifax. Given how often rural residents complain of being ignored, it would be foolish to give up this modest financial source of autonomy and self-determination.
Assuming voters agreed to retain this recreational rate, we support those who would like to bring decisions about how to use it under more democratic control.
Right now, Councillor David Hendsbee controls these disbursements by making recommendations to the Harbour East-Marine Drive Community Council, which must approve them. Hendsbee, who has said he would support retaining the rate as long as the vote was not too close, said he would appoint a committee to advise him on his recommendations, which we view as a step in the right direction.
But first the voters of Musquodoboit Harbour must vote to keep the recreational rate in place. We will post additional details on our Facebook page as they become available.