Mayor's Message January 2023
Reflection on Breadalbane's first election
Our rural municipality has roughly 80 households and a total annual budget of about $50,000, out of which come fire dues, staff salaries and the insurance and upkeep of a community hall and a park full of playground equipment. The Council serve as volunteers, and staff are underpaid. After 16 years on
council, I ran for Mayor because our tiny municipality is facing a significant challenge, i.e. complying with the financial burdens imposed by the new Municipal Government Act. Other small municipalities that were not viable have already been dissolved, or have amalgamated with neighbouring communities. We need a plan for the future because the long term goal for PEI, stemming from the recommendations of
the 2009 Report on Land and Local Governance, is to incorporate every inch of the island so that we all belong to a municipality that can take charge of local land use planning and regulation. We must have our Municipal land use plan in place by 2025.
By forcing the first election in the history of Breadalbane I wanted to establish a proper mandate to govern, because change is difficult, and our new council will have to lead us through some significant changes. The election also sent a message to the province that we value democratic process and are worthy of municipal status.
As I went door to door I learned that there are seniors in our community who need access to senior- friendly and affordable housing so that they can stay in this community. The incoming council will work with our MLA and the provincial Social Development & Housing department to find a way to build comfortable, senior-appropriate housing under some model that makes the units truly affordable and
Another concern is vehicles speeding through the village and along Dixon Road – an especially dangerous situation when children on dirt bikes and ATVs also use these roads. Concerns were also expressed about incidents of vandalism and arson that are unresolved. Overland flooding on one of the main access roads to Breadalbane is something that we need to work
with the province to resolve, because extreme snow and rain events will be more common in the future.
On a lighter note, several newcomers to the community asked for more community events where they can meet people. That’s an opportunity to celebrate and build on our sense of community.
Bottom line is – we need to find a way to become financially viable, preferably without raising the municipal tax rate. At this point, because of rising costs, our bank account is at its lowest point in 16 years. The province has signaled that we will receive a special grant to cover selected administration costs in 2023, but this is a special program that is not likely to be offered in future years. Should we amalgamate with one or more of the neighbouring municipalities? Should we bump our boundaries out to encompass more of the taxpaying households that use our hall and playground? Is there any other way to increase our tax base? We will need to develop a process to inform and draw advice from our ratepayers, as we find the best path forward.
Municipal Elections 2022
Official Elected/Acclaimed Council
Mayor - Irene Novaczek
Deputy Mayor - Beverly Fowler