A packed Community Gospel Chapel Hall saw 165 people turn out for the North Salt Spring Waterworks District’s annual general meeting on April 25, a marked change from the 11 people registered at the 2016 AGM.
Registration of the huge crowd pushed back the scheduled start time from 7 to 7:42 p.m., with 95 ratepayers and eligible voters in attendance. A large contingent of Brinkworthy Estates residents helped swell the count of non-ratepayers to 70.
Marshall Heinekey, chair of the water district’s board of trustees, outlined some of the salient points from the last year of service delivery, as well as the challenges ahead. Chief among these is being able to deliver water to all the people currently paying taxes to the district, including some 200 homes that have yet to be built, and the increasing demand from people who want to build within the district but haven’t been granted connections. The ongoing affordability of the system is also a top issue.
Two new trustees were elected Tuesday evening to fill seats on the board. Robert Steinbach, who received 76 votes, will serve a three-year term, and Michael McAllister, with 52 votes, will have a two-year term. A third candidate, Bryce Chapman, failed to be elected with 40 votes.
Brinkworthy spokesperson Samantha Sanderson questioned the legality of the vote, and by extension the AGM, since residents of the seniors complex were denied participation.
NSSWD bylaws that were passed in 2016 created a new parcel tax classification for the mobile home park that allows the district to charge the park’s owner a much higher parcel tax according to the number of units. Homeowners who lease land in the park will absorb the extra cost but are not eligible to vote as ratepayers because they do not own the parcel of land being taxed.