The Alternative Approval Process

The Alternative Approval Process

Bylaw 5798 and the Alternative Approval Process

Some community awareness is happening about this Youth Programming tax bylaw. That’s great! Up until Friday I’ve had maybe one call on it, but I’ve had a few emails and a few calls this weekend.

Here is the process we’re going through right now:
– your CSRD Director (me) feels in general that a program or service has a community benefit, and that the cost is not unreasonable. In this case, roughly $12,500 from the North Shu in 2020
– we have to get community approval for this if it’s a new item on your tax (roughly $4.65/year for the average home assessment)
– The two ways we can get your approval/denial is either by Referendum, or Alternate Approval Process (AAP)

A referendum costs about $25,000 to run, you need to vote on one specific day, at a designated place. Yay’s and Nay’s are counted and the majority wins.

An AAP is usually used where the amount of tax requested is quite small. In this case a referendum would cost twice the tax amount. The AAP gives the people of the community a period of time to register objections (a month). If more than 10% of the elligible voters send in an objection within that period then the CSRD board would decide to either hold a full referendum, or put a hold on the progams.

To answer some common questions:
There is no CSRD position. This is not adding any staff at the CSRD.

This funding is going, at this point, to two non-profits, based on the South Shu. They currently have some limited programming on the North Shu, but do have North Shu kids taking part. If you don’t have kids looking for programming you may not have heard of them, but if you look, you’ll see their ads in the Kicker. Approximately 13% of their enrollment in 2018 was from the North Shu, and that’s how we’ve determined the amount of funding that’s coming from the North Shu; based on previous years enrollment.

Their budget for this year is about $96k. So at 13% the amount the NS is contributing in the 2020 tax year will be $12.5k, roughly $4.65 per average household ($324,000 is average house assessment). The bylaw allows a maximum of $300k but only $96K is requested for 2020. These bylaws are written so that there is some room for growth due to inflation or new requirements.

It may be the Alternative Approval Process that is the bigger concern than the youth programming. Some, like me, call it negative option marketing. I didn’t like it as a private citizen and I don’t like it now. The reason it’s being done this way is money. It would cost our taxpayers $25,000 to get everyone’s vote in a referendum for a service that is going to cost the North Shu about $12,500 next year? Can you see the dilemma?

Bottom line is that I feel this is a valuable service, currently being funded by GIA grants. This is just moving the tax to a more stable platform that will allow youth programming to develop as needed. We’re paying our fair share based on North Shu youth participation.

Your opinion is requested.

I hope this clears things up a bit. Email or call if you have more questions. or 250-517-9578

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2 thoughts on “The Alternative Approval Process

  1. Thanks Jay. I’m not sure what “quite small” is defined as in terms of tax dollars but this AAP also includes Area C. In area F it may be $4.65 but in Area C it is $17 to $34 and that’s not so small. Area C has another one for $48 coming . That’s not so small either. When you are tied to other Areas on an AAP you can’t separate your area and say it’s small when the other Area is almost 4 times as much.. One area may wake up the other and the $4.65 is no longer the issue. As we discussed yesterday, the issue is not about the money in Area F. It is about the AAP process, the CSRD Board’s decision to reject the recommendation from CAO and staff to allow email submission of votes so that people have to drive 3 hours round trip from St. Ives for future AAP’s. Why make it so difficult for the electorate to oppose something? The information was not available to the public. The deadline for submission of opposition votes is “no sooner than 30 days after the second publication in the local newspaper”. Other than the local monthly Kicker, what local paper does this actually refer to? In Area C the Director has stated it was on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. How many residents in area F or C over 50 are on Twitter and Instagram? Remember the demographic in Area F? Why is it so difficult for the CSRD to provide Drop Boxes for people to vote if emails are unacceptable? The form is absolutely confusing. Permanent residents think they get one vote per property and that co-owners have to give consent. Non-resident property owners have to provide a legal description. Most have no clue where to find it and it is almost certainly not at the lake house. They also need co-owners to consent. Many of the co-owners are siblings who are not there at the same time making consent very difficult? And please don’t say they can use email – it’s not acceptable to the CSRD so why would they want to use that tool? To be honest, the CSRD has dropped the ball and a small team that I am proud to be part of got the word out. Thanks to the fantastic support of local businesses in the North Shuswap we were able to set up drop locations for citizens to facilitate voicing their opposition. The caring and understanding of the customers they serve is a lesson the CSRD should learn. When the votes are tallied and the result is in, I hope the CSRD gets the message that this process, when used, must be preceded by open houses, question and answer sessions and separate distinct opposition letters prepared for residents and non-resident property owners. How about an Email notification list that people can sign up for specifically for AAP notification? Those are meant to be thought provoking questions and suggestions that this process has raised for me and I hope the CSRD will consider. Sincerely, Peter O’Brien

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