In absence of D. Hardie (Chair) meeting chaired by C. LoScerbo (Vice-Chair).
- RCMP Update
- Car Co-Op Presentation
- Personal Statements/SECA Positions
- Princess Royal Sale
- Great Neighborhood Competition – SECA Nomination
- Traffic Light
- Festival of Banners
- SECA Heritage Picnic
- Other business:
- Empire Days Parade
1. Introductions: Attendees named themselves.Guests in attendance were Dave Shear (RCMP), Ian Gartshore (CarShare), Meldy Wilton (Empire Days).
2. Finance: S. Laroque, Treasurer, reports:
$4,871.11 in the Picnic account and
$2,399.76 in the General Account after our General Insurance payment,
Event Insurance in the amount of $592.00 remains to be deducted.
3. RCMP update: Constable Dave Shear updated us regarding Policing activity in the Community. RCMP attended the Nob Hill association meeting and notes our common concern with the increase in drug/prostitution activity and litter around the 7/11 and assures us that RCMP is working on strategies to deal with the situation. He indicated that the 7/11 is co-operating with clean-up and has been requested to report suspicious activity on their site.
Patrols continue to monitor derelict properties and request neighbors to continue to report nuisance activity. They have a particular focus on the 2 houses next to the Balmoral. A quick resolution of the tenant issue at the nuisance property on Finlayson is imminent.
Discussion: The meeting was reminded that 7/11 gave assurances that their business would be supervised and nuisance activity monitored and reported when re-zoning was applied for. It was also mentioned that Randy Churchill updated Douglas about the new initiative to employ section 74 sub 2 of the community charter. Properties at #3, #5 and #13 Gillespie are now scheduled for demolition. The long-standing derelict property on Strickland Street is the next objective of Council action. He emphasized that SECAs’ ongoing dialogue with Council on the problem had a positive impact. The positive response of Council on this and other issues reinforces the validity of consistent, reasoned dialogue between the City and neighbourhood Associations such as SECA. Attention was called to the revised Neighborhood Safety Brochure which outlines proper procedure for reporting nuisances to the Police. Response to questions regarding the old General Store, we were informed that demolition orders are in process.
4. CarShare Presentation: Ian Gartshore of Nanaimo CarShare Co-Operative attended to outline the program. He outlined approximate costs to individual, corporate and casual users. He described the province-wide networking in progress and the success of the program in Vancouver. He emphasized the economic and ecological benefits of the program which provides alternatives to car ownership when public transport, bike or walking can accommodate most usual transportation needs. He described the convenient on-line booking system and the ability to utilize the system in other centres such as Vancouver.
Discussion: Clarification on how the system works was provided. We were reminded that a condition of the potential development on Victoria Rd. Is the provision of a CarShare space at the site. C. LoScerbo volunteered to put information regarding the program on the SECA Blog.
5. Personal Opinion/SECA Positions: Membership was reminded of the importance of clearly indicating that personal statements in Media interviews, on Social Media and to the General Public are Not official SECA positions.
Discussion: The positive reputation SECA enjoys both with the City and the General Public is based on our considered and consensual approach to issues that affect our Community.
6. Princess Royal Sale: Discussion was held in regard to the listing for sale of the Princess Royal site and its potential effect on SECA and the Community. It was pointed out that loss of this space may not be imminent as costs associated with re-purposing old schools often resulted in property remaining listed for extended periods. The need for Community space in the South End was expressed. It was pointed out that in the OCP, Community Centres in strategic areas were a focus and it was suggested that the City might consider acquiring the property for Community use as several groups, including SECA currently utilize it.
Further Discussion: Reference to the OCP prompted discussion around the relationship between the Official Community Plan (OCP) for Nanaimo and the various Neighborhood Community Plans. C. LoScerbo clarified that the OCP is intended to give an overall direction for Development in Nanaimo but that this direction is subject to the specific needs/desires of individual neighborhoods. The intention has been that Neighborhood Plans should have precedence over the OCP when zoning issues, etc. are being considered. The language of the OCP and Neighborhood plans currently upholds this convention. C. Sholberg and F. Patje of the City suggest that, to preserve the sovereignty of all the Neighborhood Plans currently in place, SECA should consider lending formal support to the residents in the Chase River catchment area who are protesting rezoning of property on Victoria Road based on the language of their Neighborhood Plan. If this language is overturned by City, the same language in other Neighborhood Plans would then be potentially disregarded and the validity of Neighborhood Plans in general put in question. C. Sholberg of City Planning will be attending the next Executive Meeting to discuss this and other issues of concern. Membership will be updated and the issue placed on the May General Meeting Agenda.
7. Great Neighborhood Competition- SECA Nomination: C. Sholberg and Gary Noble met with Douglas and Chris this week to suggest that SECA field an entry to this competition. They both feel that our strong, proactive Neighborhood Association has made the South End Neighborhood a viable contender. Nominations are accepted in May until August (final competition details are not yet released for this year). Last years successful “Great Places, Streets and Neighbourhoods” are outlined in “Plan Canada” magazine (handed around). If anyone is interested in getting involved with the submission process, connect with any exec member.
8. SECA Constitution: Kathryn Hazel updated us on revisions to the SECA Constitution generated by herself and Kathy Tjorhelm. They focussed on clarifying language and updating procedures. The preliminary draft has been sent to the Executive for initial review. Versions will be presented to the General Membership for suggestions/final approval.
9. Traffic Light: A letter from P. Portsmouth was presented and read to the Meeting. She sent copies of this letter to the City and to the Department of Highways. She calls attention to a video she has which documents a meeting of Council in 2007 in which then Mayor Korpin and Council promised a light at that intersection as a condition of re-zoning for the site of the Kingdom Hall. She calls for a delegation to Council to protest further proposed re-zoning, which would create greatly increased traffic, until the traffic problems caused by the initial re-zoning have been ameliorated by the promised traffic light.
Discussion: The re-prioritization of Traffic Light installations by the City and Dept. Of Highways has been brought before the membership previously. Examples were given of accidents at this intersection and concerns were again expressed about routing increased traffic through an un-improved intersection. In view of Councils previous commitment to a light, the idea of a petition and delegation to Council was generally supported. Moved by S. Laroque that a delegation be formed to attend Council and remind them of the 2007 commitment to improve the intersection with a traffic light. Seconded by L. Gambone. Carried unanimously. In support of the delegation it was suggested that other parties affected could be informed and their support sought. Coastland and the Taxi Companies as well as the drivers in their employ were mentioned in particular. D. Routley and D. Hardie were to contact them. S. Laroque volunteered to make calls also, if requested.
10. Festival of Banners: J. Carruthers presented information on the procedure to create a banner for the Festival of Banners. Banner designs created by South End residents will be hung along the South End stretch of Nicol Street. Currently, 3 banner designs have been submitted. More are encouraged. Banners must be completed by the end of April.
11. SECA Heritage Picnic: S. Laroque updated the membership on preparations for this year’s Picnic. She reminded us of the added Special Event Insurance cost. Volunteers were requested to assist in canvassing for donations. A volunteer is also needed to handle event scheduling and organization at the function.
12. Empire Days Parade: Member Meldy Wilton presented an invitation to the South End Community to participate in this year’s Empire Day Parade. She outlined the social and community benefits of the parade and its attendant events. She emphasized that the event is also known as the May Day Parade within the Community and that the name by which it is known does not negate it’s positive value to the Community.
Discussion: Most discussion centred around the political ramifications of participation. In particular, concern that support of an “Empire Day” event would be disrespectful to the First Nations cultures, historically ill- served by the “Empire” of the day. It was put forward that participation in a “May Day” celebration would be more acceptable. Ms. Wilton stated that a name change has been proposed, but founding members, still making up the majority of their Board, are resistant to a change. It was determined to place this item on the Agenda for the next Executive Meeting for a recommendation/report at the May General Meeting.
9pm – Adjourned