In 2022, the Town of Bridgewater and every municipality in Nova Scotia is required to conduct a Municipal Boundary Review. In Bridgewater’s case, where Town Council members are elected at large, community members have the opportunity to offer their input on the size of Bridgewater Town Council and if they believe that the number of elected officials serves the needs of the community and offers appropriate representation for its citizens or if they believe a change to the existing system should be made.
The population of Bridgewater during the 2021 Census was 8,790. Bridgewater Town Council consists of an elected Mayor and six at-large elected Town Council members. “At large” means that Council members represent the entire community and not any specific district or ward within Bridgewater.
How does Bridgewater stack up to other towns of similar size in Nova Scotia? The Town of Kentville (pop. 6,630) has a mayor and six at-large councillors. The Town of Truro (pop. 12,954) has a mayor and six councillors – Truro has three wards with two councillors per ward. Yarmouth (pop. 6,829) has a mayor and six at-large councillors. In Amherst (pop. 9,404), there is also a mayor and six at-large councillors.
Town Council members in Bridgewater are paid a taxed salary of $25,000 per year for their service. The Deputy Mayor (elected by Town Council) receives a taxed salary of $36,700 per year. The Mayor receives a taxed salary of $62,300 per year. In addition to twice-monthly Town Council meetings, there are approximately 25 committees and commissions which require Town Council representation, with each Town Councillor generally serving on at least seven committees.
HOW YOU CAN PROVIDE YOUR INPUT
As part of the public engagement process around the Municipal Boundary Review, you will be invited to participate in an online survey that is available by clicking here.
You may submit written comments by regular mail to the Town of Bridgewater by regular mail or drop off at Town Hall, located at 60 Pleasant Street in Bridgewater (please include "Municipal Boundary Review" in writing in the title of your submission.
You may also participate by attending the regular meeting of Bridgewater Town Council on Monday, August 8, or Monday, September 12, and providing verbal remarks at the start of the meeting during the time specifically allotted for members of the public to provide feedback on the Municipal Boundary Review (at approximately 6 p.m.)
Finally, there will be an open-house event at DesBrisay Museum, located at 130 Jubilee Road in Bridgewater, on Tuesday, August 9, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. All are welcome and staff will be on site to receive comments and answer questions related to the Municipal Boundary Review.