Present: Sylvia Milne, Peggy Kampouris, Melanie Cave, Mary McIninch, Sue Stefko, Brenda Quinlan, Chris McCann, Darlene Charron
The meeting was called to order at 7:11pm.
Sylvia Milne welcomed everyone to the fourth meeting of the Board of Directors of the Glebe Annex Community Association (GACA).
Approval of the agenda
Darlene brought the two gift cards from Peloso Cleaners that were donated after our community clean-up. A draw was held for those at the meeting. Sue and Mary each won a gift card. Sue added discussion of the Booth St. Complex to the agenda.
Chris motioned to accept the agenda; Darlene seconded the motion.
Business arising from last minutes
No one to our knowledge has stepped up to deliver the Glebe Report in our area. Many GACA members are also not getting the EMC at all or they get it sporadically. Abbas corner store gets them every once in a while, but not frequently. Sylvia will drop off the extras from her building to Abbas so that people who are interested can pick up a copy.
Peggy contacted Constable Matt Hunt, asking for 100 yellow laminated cards that say that all valuables have been removed from the car. She was told that the police need to order more; Peggy will follow up. Her latest crime statistics showed four thefts were reported from vehicles on one day (June 18th) alone. Once she has the yellow cards, she will draft something for our website to advise people that they are available. Melanie mentioned that she left some boxes meant for charity on the sidewalk during the day (for just an hour and a half) and someone came, tore open the boxes, took the best items and then left the rest strewn across the sidewalk. Members were reminded to be vigilant, to not allow crimes of opportunity to take place and to report any thefts that occur.
Sylvia discussed the article (with photos) in the Glebe Report about our community clean-up.
Chris discussed a letter that he is writing to the city requesting improved parking by-law enforcement, addressing cash-in-lieu of parking issues and requesting an increased police presence in the area. Sylvia suggested that we write similar letters to by-law or the Mayor. Mary commented that parking by-law people are coming by more frequently. This could pose a problem for visitors. Given this, Chris suggested that we do nothing about parking by-law enforcement except to report people who park and block driveways. Mary suggested that we can change this parking enforcement to be restricted from Monday to Friday, but allowing overnight and daytime street parking on the weekend. Peggy will investigate, and will talk to the people who did the traffic study to see why weekends were included in the parking restrictions. Darlene added that perhaps we can ask for free weekend parking, but for restrictions during festivals such as the Tulip Festival and Winterlude. Peggy mentioned that some businesses are empowered to give tickets; GACA could investigate whether or not individuals could be granted the same authority.
Sylvia was successful in changing the MLS system to recognize the Glebe Annex as a area, as opposed to the quite generic West Centertown.
Melanie motioned to approve the minutes from the last meeting. This was seconded by Chris.
Sylvia went to a meeting of the Dow’s Lake Association at the King’s Daughters and Sons apartment building on Cambridge St. in the Dow’s Lake area. This led to a discussion of possible meeting rooms for us. Mary suggested that perhaps the Fitzsimmons building could have space that we could use. Sylvia will contact Nick Busing, the 8th floor tenant in the Fitzsimmons building, to see if he might be able to suggest some possibilities. An update on Samcon was presented, as well as the Taggart development. For the Samcon development, Jackson will be cut off and turned into a dead-end street in order to calm traffic. In addition, other traffic calming measures will be put in place. Samcon started demolition on June 18th, and will soon start construction of their sales office, although construction of the building itself will not start until November.
Sylvia then briefed about Glebe Community Association (GCA). Chrisine McAllister became the new president. GACA was annexed to the GCA at that meeting. The membership people from GCA provided kits to the Dow’s Lake Resident’s Association to help with the membership drive and were also keeping track of the Dow’s Lake membership list. They wanted us to participate in this as well. Sylvia instead suggested that we would be doing our own membership drive. Darlene, Brenda and Gina are our membership representatives, and they will look into this. We can provide our names to the GCA, if required, but we plan on doing our own drive and keeping track of our own list. Peggy suggested that we let people know that their name may also be on the GCA list. Any of us are invited to the GCA meetings, although, as a community association, we only get one vote. It was suggested that we try to have at least one member of GACA attend each GCA meeting.
Brenda mentioned that some people have been asking where their $10 membership fee is going. $30 will go to the Federation of Citizen’s Associations (FCA) for memberships. For each member, $2 of every $10 goes to the GCA. Other costs recently incurred include thing such as our Access to Information request, printing, copying, (potentially) meeting spaces, beautification of the park, membership cards, social costs such as drinks or food during the clean-up or other social events, and any advertising. Any special activity, such as an OMB appeal, also costs money, although that would take some ‘amassing’ of funds.
Brenda also talked about a membership drive and suggested dividing our community into three, although mostly for townhouses and houses, since we haven’t been able to gain much interest among apartment building dwellers. Getting contacts within condo buildings would take care of canvassing those, with Gina, Darlene and Brenda dividing the rest of the neighbourhoods among themselves for a door-to-door campaign. An option discussed for a membership drive is to wait until the fall meeting. Mary added that the summer isn’t the best time to do this, with so many people away. Sylvia suggested that to start the drive, we send out emails to our contact list, put an article in the Glebe Report and the EMC, as well as information on our website. We could start this soon, and give people valid memberships from now until August 2014. Peggy added that during the membership drive, perhaps we should tell people what GACA does for the community, and why supporting this association would be helpful. This included representation with the city, park clean-ups, improved security, etc. We need to verify when local papers are published to see if we could even do a summer ‘campaign’ as some papers do not publish in the summer.
As part of the door-to-door blitz, membership coordinators will have information about how the money is used, will talk about the work of GACA, and will ask people to fill out an information form. This information would only be shared with the Secretary and the President. It was suggested that if any other organization needed it, such as the GCA, it could ask the President for that information. During the ‘membership blitz’, canvassers will try twice to catch people at home, and after that, will leave a ‘sorry we missed you’ flier with information and a form to fill out. Fliers could also be left with the corner stores. Mary suggested that businesses might be another target audience, perhaps asking Nick Busing from the Associations of Faculty of Medicine for some contact information. Brenda will ask Nick. Brenda will be the chair of the membership committee. Mary suggested that either the law firm or Keller Williams might be interested in being members. In that same building there is also a caterer and Momentum fitness; both are businesses that we should consider approaching.
In terms of the membership cards, it’s anticipated that new cards be done every year. We can change the colour of the cards if we want. In Hintonburg, cards were used to get discounts on local purchases, and new cards were issued every year, with an expiry date listed. Brenda will discuss the final decision with David once a way ahead is finalized. Darlene suggested that we do a fall community clean-up, and perhaps issue the cards at that time.
Peggy briefed that there was a second meeting with Councillor Chernuschenko and a provincial Ministry of Transport representative about the 417 off-ramp at Bronson. The changes will take place in the next three to five years, depending on how the other ramps in other parts of the city go and how long it takes to get to our area. Bronson south of the Queensway will be torn up to put in new sewers, etc. in and around that timeframe as well, and they will try to do both at the same time. Adding a new lane on Chamberlain was also a point of discussion. A more acute angle may be added, so that traffic would be slowed, or Chamberlain might stay at two lanes, as residents are concerned that this area would turn into a ‘freeway’. The city is pulling together a summary of comments from the public consultation on this issue, and Peggy will send the summary to us when she gets it. The idea of another set of traffic lights between Powell and the Queensway was raised; however, it is not possible, as we can’t have traffic lights less than 180 metres apart. However, discussions will continue, as we still have some time before the work starts. If anyone has suggestions as to what should be planted in the area just off the highway, those would be welcomed. In terms of sound barrier, a 5m noise barrier will be built. Until that is done, we will be using the one we currently have.
Sue sparked a brief discussion that some visitors complain that our local streets that aren’t properly labelled. Peggy and Melanie will investigate.
Sue briefed on the development of Dalhousie South Park. We obtained plants for free from people who no longer needed them and planted them in the park. Where there is dead grass now, we hope to have a mint and lemon balm garden for anyone to be able to use. We would like to present the city with what kind of play structures we’d like to see, so the parks committee will hopefully be taking photos of potential local parks to consider. Peggy recommended Hintonburg Park’s playground, located behind the Community Centre on Wellington St., as a possible example.
Turning the empty land at the south end of Bell St. S, which is currently owned by Public Works, into a park was also discussed. This will be something that will be discussed at a later date. Sue is looking for someone to be the parks and beautification rep while she is on course from August until next June.
Mary talked about issues with Dalhousie South Park (e.g. splintered wood, the slide is too tall for toddlers). She wants to ask the city to advance the 2017 date to improve the park. Sue will share with Mary the contact information for the parks manager. Mary will also contact David Chernuschenko to see how we can go about moving the date forward, keeping Sylvia informed on all communications that take place on behalf of GACA. Sue mentioned other funding possibilities to raise money for park improvement.
Booth St. complex
Sue will talk to the Dalhousie Community Association, and perhaps Jamie Lieuw, and get the community associations involved in trying to create a vision of what we want there. Sylvia will talk to Bobby Galbraith to see how he would approach this and ask for his advice.
Communications and website
No content other than the minutes from the last meeting were provided to our web manager (David), so not much has been posted to our website recently.
Peggy gave a brief about different opportunities (e.g. possibly organizing a women’s self defence course in conjunction with the police in the fall).
Brenda mentioned that getting together as a community association board for something like a potluck could be a good idea. July was mentioned as a possibility, but many people are busy. Brenda suggested the 8th or 10th of August as possible dates.
Sylvia asked whether or not the Board wanted to launch an OMB appeal on the Taggart development. Around the table it was felt that it would be a waste of time, as our case isn’t that strong, and the next step would be onerous and time-consuming, to say nothing of trying to get planners, lawyers, etc. It is expensive for lawyers to do this type of work, so we are not likely to get someone pro bono.
Lisa asked if we should have input into possible future uses of the park. Those present voted to make a statement in support of leaving that area as green space instead of using it for teacher’s parking. Lisa will write the letter on behalf of GACA
The date will be determined.
The Association currently does not have a Treasurer. Chris can step down as Vice-President in order to become Treasurer; he has experience in that area. However, we will then have to fill the Vice-President position. Peggy motioned to put Chris into the Treasurer role; this was seconded by Darlene. All voted in favour.
Darlene motioned to adjourn the meeting at 9:06; this was seconded by Brenda.