Present: Sylvia Milne, Lisa Furrie, Melanie Cave, Mary McIninch, David Perkins, Iain Wood, Julie Stephens, Darlene Charron
The meeting was called to order at 6:40pm.
Sylvia Milne welcomed everyone to the Board of Directors meeting after the summer hiatus.
Approval of the agenda
Sylvia noted that there was an error on the agenda. The GACA Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 22 October. The AGM is scheduled to run between 6:30 and 8:30 pm. She added that all three candidates for councillor in our ward have been invited to attend the meeting.
Lisa asked that a discussion of Whole Foods’ Community Outreach be added to the agenda.
Action: Lisa will write the article for the Glebe Report about the AGM; it is due to the editor on 24 October. Darlene asked that the membership drive be mentioned in the article.
Darlene motioned to accept the agenda; David seconded the motion.
Approval of minutes from the previous meeting
Melanie motioned to approve the minutes; Julie seconded the motion.
Business arising from last minutes
Darlene reminded the group that the community clean up is scheduled for Saturday 27 September. People are asked to meet in Dalhousie South Park.
Action: Lisa will send out a reminder about the clean up.
Sylvia said that discussion of the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study, as raised by Chris at the last meeting, will be deferred to the next meeting.
The Board decided to cancel the movie night that had been discussed for September. While the summer party had been an unqualified success, the Board felt that it was too soon to approach sponsors for another event. The Board had agreed that it was best to hold an annual event.
Darlene said that she has not heard from Councillor Chernushenko’s office about the community liaison working group.
Action: Darlene will contact the Councillor’s office about the working group.
The group discussed the fact that trash has been building up in areas around the neighbourhood, particularly around the government buildings and on Lebreton Street.
Action: Julie will make note of areas that are particularly bad and Sylvia will write a letter to the city on behalf of GACA. Darlene suggested that it would be beneficial to include photos with the letter.
Sylvia, on behalf of Chris, reported that the Association currently has a bank balance of $860. This is after paying the GCA at their AGM a total of $144. The Association raised a total of $116 from donations (less expenses) from the party in the park.
Sylvia said that she has spoken with Chris about the fact that GACA is charged a monthly maintenance fee by the bank. The GCA does not pay this fee. One solution to this problem, Sylvia said, is to open a seniors’ account under her name.
Julie said that it would be worthwhile to speak to the bank and to threaten to switch banks if the fee is not removed. Iain suggested looking into credit unions.
Darlene reported, on behalf of Brenda, that the Association currently has 83 members; the majority of those memberships will expire at the end of December 2014.
Darlene said that she and Brenda had talked about the idea of having block reps who would each be responsible for selling memberships on their individual blocks. Memberships will also be sold at the clean up and the AGM.
Darlene said it would also be ideal to have a contact on each condo board to help with access to the buildings.
Action: Sylvia will bring copies of the brochure to the Lakelanders’ AGM on 27 October.
Turning to the brochure that Brenda and David had created, David said that he thought there might be too much text in the brochure.
Action: Lisa will revise the brochure copy with the aim of reducing the amount of text.
The group discussed whether it is possible to accept and process membership fees online.
Action: David will see if it is possible to process payments on the current web system.
Decision: Darlene put forward a motion that the brochure be accepted pending editing and layout revision. This motion was seconded by Lisa. All were in favour.
Traffic and security
Sylvia said that Peggy will record the comments written on the large sheet during the party in the park and will share those comments with the group. Peggy said she also wanted to draft letters to the small developers who had attended the party.
David, reporting on behalf of Sue, said that Sue had been asked by the GCA Parks Committee for an update on the Dalhousie South Park. Melanie said that the seats on the little play structures had been painted, although they had not been sanded first.
Sylvia said that the park is due for an equipment upgrade in 2017. Mary said that there are other parks in the city that are in worse shape than our park; it will be very challenging to get the upgrade date moved forward. She added that the only way to get the date changed is to put pressure on the Councillor. She said that only between $30,000 and $40,000 is needed to replace the play equipment; a total life-cycle renewal costs about $210,000. Mary asked whether it was better to wait for a total life-cycle renewal or to push to get the equipment replaced sooner so that the park is more usable.
Action: Discussion on this item was moved forward to the next Board meeting.
Sylvia said that she had received an official acknowledgement from the City about GACA’s adoption of the Dalhousie South Park.
Action: David will post a copy of the certificate on the website.
Action: Sylvia will follow up with the city about reporting requirements about park clean up, etc.
Following a suggestion made by Morris, David said that GACA now has an Instragram account. He said he will start to organize photos on the site.
Action: Sylvia will check with Morris to see if he sent out the thank-you letters to sponsors of the party in the park.
Planning and development
Sylvia said she received information about developers’ applications, as well as notices of meetings of the Committee of Adjustment. She shares any notices that have a direct impact on the Glebe Annex area.
Sylvia attended a meeting related to a preconsultation pilot project that, in her opinion, is the planning department trying to make nice before an election. This project would see a GACA representative invited to a meeting with the City once a development application is received. Sylvia said that she is currently the designated representative for these meetings. When she asked the City what would happen if she couldn’t attend, they were unable to provide an answer. Another issue is that the community representative is currently not allowed to share any information received at the meeting. This is an issue that the City will have to resolve.
Sylvia reminded the group that there is an all candidates’ meeting scheduled at the Glebe Community Centre on 2 October. She added that the three candidates for Councillor are eager to attend the GACA AGM.
She said that each community association has been asked to come up with two questions to ask at the all candidates’ meeting. Iain said he would recommend asking the mayoral candidates about how they would ensure that there is greater urban representation on the planning committee. Sylvia said a possible question to the councillor candidates is related to park renewal in the inner city. Another question for the mayoral candidates is how they can justify having Fotan work for both the City and the developers.
Lisa said it would also be a good idea to put out a call for questions from the GACA membership. Those questions could be sent to the candidates and their responses could be posted on the GACA website.
Action: Iain will write the planning question and Mary will write the parks question.
Action: Lisa will send out a request for questions along with a reminder regarding the all candidates’ meeting.
Sylvia said the Norman Street development has been approved. The community association in that area has launched an OMB appeal and is looking for donations to help with the appeal.
Sylvia proposed that GACA make a $100 donation for the appeal. Lisa seconded the motion. All were in favour.
Decision: GACA will make a $100 donation to help the Preston Street community association with its OMB appeal.
Action: Iain will contact Maeve to see if there are any Carleton University law students who would be willing to assist with the appeal.
Action: Lisa will include a mention of GACA’s support of the appeal in the Glebe Report article.
Whole Foods’ community outreach
Lisa told the group that she had attended a meeting with people from Whole Foods and had learned about their outreach program. She said that Whole Foods’ employees would be available to help out with community clean up and that Whole Foods seemed willing to donate to events in local communities. Darlene suggested that Whole Foods might be willing to donate plants for the Dalhousie South Park.
The next board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 pm on 15 October at the Glebe Community Centre.
The AGM will be held on 22 October at 6:30 pm in the Eileen Anne Scotton hall (the big hall) at the Glebe Community Centre.
David motioned to adjourn the meeting; this was seconded by Iain.