Glebe Annex Community Association
Annual General Meeting
Wednesday, 28 October 2015
Call to order and welcome
Glebe Annex Community Association (GACA) president, Sylvia Milne, called the meeting to order at 6:35pm. She welcomed all in attendance and thanked them for coming to the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Sylvia introduced the GACA Directors in attendance.
Approval of the agenda
Scott Blurton moved to approve the meeting’s agenda; this was seconded by Chris McCann. All present were in favour.
Approval of the minutes of the 2014 AGM
Peggy Kampouris moved to approve the minutes from the 2014 AGM; this was seconded by Chris McCann. All present were in favour.
Business arising from the 2014 minutes
There was no business arising from the 2014 AGM minutes.
Councillor David Chernushenko said he was pleased to “join this small but merry group.”
The tapering off of the surge in condo development is leaving the status of many properties in the Glebe Annex area in question. Currently, Summerhill Development is planning a purpose-built apartment building for students near Bronson and Carling. For the most part, he said, he was impressed with what was presented. He added that the response from the Dow’s Lake Community Association to the presentation was quite positive.
Councillor Chernushenko said he is in favour of the construction of more rental units in all neighbourhoods. “A lack of rentals leads to a lack of diversity,” he said.
In terms of other big projects, the Councillor mentioned the Bronson Avenue renewal project and the Queensway ramps. He said consultation on the former will begin in earnest this winter. The main objective is to look at ways to calm the traffic and make the street more liveable even as it continues to carry a lot of volume.
Finally, he added that he is willing to work with GACA on the Dalhousie South Park and other green spaces in the area. Green, recreation space is in short supply in the Annex, he said.
Maeve McMahon asked the Councillor about the story of an elderly woman who was charged by the city for not mowing her lawn. She asked if there is a role that community associations can play to help seniors and other vulnerable populations in the community.
Councillor Chernushenko said there is a program called Snow Angels that helps seniors with snow shovelling. There is a similar service for lawn mowing. He said he would be better about publicizing these available services. He added that the city has a 211 service that connects people in need with available social services. Again, the existence of this 211 service could be better communicated to the general public.
Responding to a question about the possible impact of the new federal government, the Councillor said that he is happy to see that the government has made a commitment to be more aggressive regarding combatting climate change. He said that MP McKenna has also made a commitment to work with the Councillor and the MPP to get the foot bridge built across the canal.
Responding to a question about the intersection at Carling and Bronson, the Councillor said that the last evaluation of that intersection was done in 2010. It is relatively simple to tweak the timing of the lights, he said, but any more significant change to the way the intersection is constructed requires a major infrastructure investment. As part of the Bronson Avenue renewal project, he said, it might be possible to look at an intersection redesign. One interesting option is called a pedestrian scramble. In terms of speeding on the street, the Councillor said he will look at what can be done; however, it ultimately comes down to the allocation of resources.
Speaking about bus routes west bound from Bronson to Preston, the Councillor said all bus routes are being reviewed as part of the LRT project. Many routes will change because the focus of transit in the city will change with the introduction of LRT.
Sylvia thanked Councillor Chernushenko for attending the meeting.
Scams against seniors – how to recognize them/protect yourself
Constable Matt Hunt introduced himself as the Community Police Officer for centretown and the Glebe. He explained that there are four Community Police Officers who work in the downtown area.
Constable Hunt said that many people do not understand when they should call 911. 911 is to be used in an emergency or when there is a crime in progress. He said he isn’t sure that he believes that crime is down in Ottawa; he thinks that reported crime is down. He said it is difficult to get the necessary resources into specific areas if crime isn’t accurately reported. He said his main message is to encourage people to call the police when they witness a crime or are the victim of a crime.
Constable Hunt turned the group’s attention to “The Little Black Book of Frauds”—a resource to help people protect themselves against scams, including those perpetrated on the phone, online and door-to-door. He urged people to contact the police if they have been the victim of fraud. That is the only way we can get an accurate picture of crime in Ottawa, he said.
Sylvia Milne said that it was her pleasure to serve as GACA’s president and to work with the board to continue in carrying out the stated mission of the Association: to promote, foster and protect the interests of the community. The Association’s activities are aimed at building a more vibrant, liveable and safer community, to strengthen relationships within our neighbourhood, and to empower residents of our neighbourhood through community involvement.
The Association works in a variety of areas: parks and community beautification, planning and development, traffic, and safety.
Chris McCann reported that Association revenue is generated through the sale of memberships and, occasionally, through neighbourhood activities that raise some funds; expenses are limited and include membership in FCA and payment to the Glebe Community Association. GACA closed the year with a balance of $336. The Association also started a contingency fund (currently at $500) to help lobby the city as required.
Membership Committee report
Brenda Quinlan told the group that membership is critical to the success of the Association. Buying a membership signals a person’s support of what the Association is trying to achieve. There are currently 91 memberships that are set to expire on December 31, 2015; an additional 9 new/renewed memberships will expire in April 2017. Brenda said that the annual membership drive will take place in the spring rather than the traditional fall season. Brenda urged everyone to contact her if they have suggestions to improve the membership process.
Parks/recreation/beautification Committee report
Sue Stefko said that this committee has worked to improve the safety in Dalhousie South Park by getting the city to lower the park sign so that children can no longer crawl under it. She added that the play equipment in this park is scheduled for renewal in 2017. She said the committee is lobbying the city to assign a designer to the park so that the renewal process can proceed with no delays.
Sue added that the committee is working with PWGSC to see if there is anything that can be done with the small slice of land that it owns on the west side of Bell St. South near Maclean Street. This currently vacant land could be used as a community garden or a dog run.
She urged people to call 311 or email the city to report garbage or graffiti in the neighbourhood.
Traffic/safety/security Committee report
Peggy Kampouris said that cut-through traffic remains an issue in our neighbourhood. Two traffic studies have been conducted (in 2005 and 2010); however, consensus could not be reached in the community on possible traffic calming measures. The Preston Street BIA has similar concerns about the need to cut through our neighbourhood, and it has proposed the construction of an additional Queensway on-ramp at Booth Street. Despite support from the surrounding community associations, the city did not agree to fund further development of this proposal. The Preston Street BIA has now decided to try to get this project included in the next Transportation Master Plan.
In terms of security, Peggy said the city has installed LED lights in various locations around the neighbourhood.
She echoed Constable Hunt, urging residents to report any incidents to the police.
Federation of Citizens’ Assemblies report
Scott Blurton told the group that the FCA is active in many areas of interest to GACA, including access to public spaces in winter, the city’s upcoming strategic plan, community mailboxes and the ambassador program (which provides a link for developers at City Hall).
Nomination and election of Directors for 2016
Sylvia thanked the current slate of Directors and acknowledged the Directors who are not running again in 2016.
The following is the current slate of nominations for the 2016 Directors:
- Scott Blurton
- Darlene Charron
- Peggy Kampouris
- Chris McCann
- Maeve McMahon
- Sylvia Milne
- Ron Poirier
- Brenda Quinlan
There were no additional nominations from the floor.
Marnie put forward a motion to accept the slate of candidates; it was seconded by Sue. All present were in favour.
Scott put forward a motion to adjourn the AGM; it was seconded by Peggy. All present were in favour.