Saturday, 18 February 2017

Public Feedback About the YRC (III)

One of the 14 public meetings that took place during the initial assessment phase of the YRC project was held at the Keswick Valley Recreation Centre on September 14, 2016.  The work to set up for that one (and for all of the project's public meetings to date) was done by volunteers.  

During the public meetings that were part of the initial assessment phase of the YRC Project, participants were asked to complete a questionnaire.  Some of the responses to the question "What are your specific concerns about considering forming the York Rural Community?  were:  

 - Taxation not to increase as much as it occurs now; Money management- needs accountability; People need to have a say where $ should go.

- Over coming ignorance and laisse faire attitudes to create a proper understanding of how the system works and to take control/advantage of the system and our local attributes for our betterment.

- It must be well communicated to all residents.  It needs to have strong participation from residents.  The challenge of working through the fuzzy rules set by DELG could lead to frustration of the volunteers and cause them to give up too soon.        

-   Community engagement over the long haul.  Find out what other groups learned about how to keep people interested.

- Equitable representation, a voice in the new structure/decision making; Increase taxes only a concern if we have no voice in how it is used; Development of a sense of community- great start (river unites us). But     specific efforts need to be made to engage places like Island View who are right on the border with Fredericton and feel more of a sense of community with Fredericton (although most would say they do NOT want to be part of Fredericton.)

- Not having local Rep. on council, funds not being divided fairly, needs met before wants and responsible use of tax dollars.  Keep bridge.

- Getting too big (geographical area) young people getting involved in things; Seniors in the community- service for seniors.

- Will it interfere with your property tax?

- Keswick River environmental concerns.

- Emergency preparedness (plan).  Designated emergency shelters (not fire hall).

- Protection by rural service such as fire department and RCMP

- The Carlisle Rd. would gain little in services over the present LSD services.

- Preserve river property and environment; Make sure farmers land not to heavily taxed.

- Geographical area needs to be revised to take in only the 5 communities and the land owned by the people therein.  The northern triangle which is mainly/largely crown land should not be included.

- We don’t need tax increases.

- My understanding in regards to “gas tax” access is that the money will not simply be given to us but made available as projects are identified.  If so are these dollars specific to transportation projects or are they more general revenue?

- Taxes rising; Government forcing other areas on us.

- I  hope I don’t have to pay more taxes to support arenas in the city of Fredericton; Keep more money in our community ex. Keswick Rec Center, the money etc. shouldn’t be just used for certain community. 

- Equal representation of the geographic area included in the community.

- We will definitely need a bridge across the river. Everyone loves building arenas.  If this goes ahead, let the dust settle before committing to building one wherever.

- Environment protection is high priority especially given proposed Sisson Brook development and Energy East pipeline.

- The boundaries must include all of Bear Island not end at Scotch Lake Road. End at end of mail route.

- Losing voice; Losing rural setting; Not become “Fredericton”

- A concern of what % of returned tax dollars we would have authority to administer.

- There will have to be collaboration between the rural community and the municipality (Fredericton) which provides services we use, so that costs are fairly shared and distributed  e.g. Children from YRC having to buy a ticket to play in the Wilmot Splash Pad.

- Becoming too big and less connected as well as too focused on property development to raise tax revenue.  Balance needs to tilt toward community self-reliance and citizen connections.

- Geographical size; Many communities in area; Expect communication and organization issues.

- Creating another layer of politicians who invariably care more about themselves than the good of their constituents.  The group on the committee don’t seem to be like that.  Hopefully in the future there will be good rural people elected.

- Don’t want an amalgamated fire dept. Want careful development planning; Want a clear financial picture

- Not much will change.  Gov’t will still get their share of our tax money,   someone else will be decision makers once the RC is established.  We already have fire and police protection.  The boundary of Scotch Lake Road only includes part of Bear Island.  All Bear Island not included – No vote in process.

- Lack of experience managing municipal resources; Challenges with uniting such a broad and diverse area.

- Tax increases/road repairs Keswick Ridge roads

- How would decisions be made ie. Individual votes or by committee; How will money be divided within all the communities? Fracking is a serious concern; Will existing funds being used from these communities now continue to be taken from our communities even if we form the YRC?

- There needs to be a wide mandate so lots of people feel engaged.

- Equal dispersing of tax dollars; Since Douglas is largest population it would be given a larger share of funds –  based on tax dollars (assuming this will be part of feasibility study).

-  That the community maintains control and input, this is not about 3-5 yr  governments; That our representatives (volunteer) not get burnt out.

- That the majority of the people in the communities become knowledgeable plus participate in the process.

- Would we have more say about what transportation dollars are used for? What priorities in our area are for roads etc.

- The huge geographical area north of Burtts Corner could be a drain on resources with little income.  It stretches the compactness of the area.

- Increased taxes to pay for another level of government, overregulation, land use restrictions.

- To be able to keep my ability to do what I want and when I want on my property; Tax increases; The addition of bylaws and more bureaucracy.

- We are adding another layer of governance to an over governed province;  More over spending busy body politicians seldom improve the lives of the average tax payers; Province will stick us with all road maintenance and policing costs.

- Not everyone will be equal distance… weakens.

- Transparency – where does the revenue come from, what are the projected expenditures; Who determines the budget and expenditures, what controls are on expenditures? Would the construction of the new bridge have a financial requirement for the YRC?

- Will taxes be raised? Splitting communities; How will this specifically benefit us?

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