Wednesday, September 16, 2015
St Basil’s Roman Catholic Church
940 Rex Avenue
Call To Order: 7:00 PM
Approval of Agenda
Approved, by consensus
Approval of 2014 Minutes
Seconded By: Don Medalia
Your community association has had a very good year. I’d like to thank some of the people who made that happen. First, let me introduce your Board of Directors. Filling the Executive Director positions with me are:
– Steve Wilson, VP and Secretary
– Brad White, Treasurer (unable to attend this evening), and
– Bert Rupert, Past President
The other Directors are:
– Mike Sims, Membership Director
– Dave Hunter, Web-site Director
– Rob Edwards, Director- at- large
– Jennifer Bougie, Director-at-large
– Steve Livingstone, Director-at-large (Steve will not be returning to the Board, having just been promoted which involves added travel commitments).
I’d also like to thank Annie Hall, who had taken the minutes of our AGMs for a number of years now, which has freed up Steve Wilson, our Secretary, to focus on the content of the AGMs. We’re most grateful for that. Thank you, Annie.
During the year, we undertook a Membership Drive, our priority being to collect the e-mail addresses of as many community members as possible. We want to be able to communicate more effectively with all Copeland Park residents. We still lack many addresses. You can help our Membership Director, Mike Sims, with this by encouraging your neighbours to go to our web-site and subscribe.
We hope you’ve noticed the improvements that have been made to our web-site. It’s not perfect, but we’re getting there. Dave Hunter, our Web-site Director, will tell you more about it later.
Canada Post presented a sustained concern throughout the year. The installation of Community Mail Boxes in the urban area is a great frustration. The governing councils of more than 200 communities across Canada have passed resolutions condemning this action by CP. Unfortunately, our City Council has not done so, and the installation of CMBs continues. Your CA has met with CP to express concern about a number of the sites they selected, and we have written to CP expressing our concerns. We have tried to support individual community members in doing the same – all to no avail. The boxes will be installed, despite our objections. I’m sure we’ve all been tempted to copy Mayor Denis Coderre’s attention-getting jack-hammer stunt.
We held a Community Yard Sale / Auction / BBQ in early June. It didn’t work out quite as we’d expected… The BBQ was a great success thanks to our Councillor, who sponsored and whose staff ran it. Rob Edwards will be speaking later about the yard sale and auction.
We maintain our membership in the Federation of Citizens’ Associations. The FCA gives us access to many other CAs in Ottawa. We made use of these contacts throughout the year.
We’re currently working with several neighbouring CAs, trying to organize an All-Candidates Meeting for the federal Ottawa West/ Nepean riding. We don’t have much time left, and finding a venue for this is our current problem. Keep checking the web-site for news on this.
Traffic remains a priority concern, particularly trucks, speeding, and the volume of traffic along Maitland/Clyde; and speeding and cut-through traffic along Erindale. The Councillor’s Office staff helped us get the “Slow down” signs that we placed along Maitland and Erindale. We know the signs caught resident’s attention, for it was no time before some signs were moved to other streets, where residents believe a speeding problem exists. Our guest speakers, this evening, will go into more detail on this.
Throughout the year, we were able to provide assistance to a number of residents regarding various issues affecting them and their property. We dealt with an old development issue concerning the apartment building on Castle Hill, and helped other residents find what they needed at City Hall.
We’ve worked with the Councillor’s office to get funding to re-surface the tennis courts in Greenlawn Park and hopefully we’ll get assistance from the city for a rink in the same park. Steve Wilson will be asking for your thoughts on the use of our parks later this evening.
We have a busy agenda this evening and so I’m going to leave it at that, and move to the next agenda item, which is our Treasurer’s report. As I mentioned, Brad White could not be here this evening; so, I’ve asked Jennifer Bougie to present his report for the past year.
CPCA Website, Dave Hunter
Many changes over the last year, and we encourage you to register to receive the newsletter through the website. There are currently 256 subscribers, and we are seeing a high volume of people looking at the newsletter, police reports, local news and events, issues such as Canada Post changes, events such as the barbecue, garage sale, etc. We find that visits increase after the newsletter is distributed, so we will continue with the newsletter as an awareness tool. A high percentage of people looking at the site are under the age of 35. The site is accessible through mobile devices as well as laptops and desktop computers.
Safer Roads (Maitland/Clyde/Erindale)
Guests: Rob Wilkinson & Kale Brown
Rob introduced himself and emphasized that he is involved with communities, he is not an engineer. He thinks it is essential that he, and those working in this City approved program, understand the needs and concerns of the people in the community. In order to accomplish this, they have partnered with groups within the community who are concerned with pedestrian safety, cycling safety as well as driving safety. They do workshops for various groups such as seniors. He spoke about how difficult it is to stop the overwhelming number of people who are “distracted drivers and pedestrians”. People from the age of 16 to 70 have been convicted of distracted driving. What is required is a major culture change, so they are constantly coming up with new approaches – blitzes, posters, etc. People are incredibly involved in this program, and call to report infractions. There are a number of signs that are being posted across the city, and many residents want signs for their own properties. He showed the lights that they hand out for people to attach to a dog leash, a bicycle or an arm so that drivers can better see you. He outlined more programs like a blitz to catch people who pass school buses with flashing lights.
Audience Questions & Answers:
What is being done to enforce rules on walking pathways?
Unfortunately, the Highway Traffic Act does not apply to pathways.
Are there statistics available about how many charges are laid based on a citizen making a report of an infraction of distracted driving?
Rob does not have this data, but offered to look into the matter and will speak to Marjorie about it.
How do we get drivers to slow down in our neighbourhood?
Rob said that there will be Councillor-driven initiatives – he spoke about collapsible cones that do work and will not cause damage to cars.
Sometimes use of a cell phone is helpful to call in an emergency situation. Hopefully common sense will prevail if someone is worrying about charges.
How do we get a blitz set up in our neighbourhood?
Talk to community police and give details about what you want, problems you want to target (speeding, distracted driving, etc.) Call police when you see anything happening that make our roads unsafe.
Safer Roads Repair Stations for bicycles will be available next summer, and the first one will be at City Hall and Fire Stations. The tools will be attached to the kits, so that it will be very difficult for anyone to steal them. Concern was raised about someone using one of the tools as a weapon.
Community Garage Sale, Auction & BBQ
Rob spoke about the idea behind the auction, and said that we raised $75 for the community association and some for the hospital (Queensway-Carleton ACE Unit). He asked if people prefer a silent auction so that people wouldn’t have to be present at the auction. We can consider going back to the garage sale only, or combine with the BBQ, etc. We are looking for feedback on the event, as well as volunteers. One resident said she liked the idea of a silent auction, in conjunction with a BBQ. Did everyone know about the event? People said yes. It was suggested that someone volunteer to pick up items for the auction if the person donating could not deliver it or attend the event. Kathy Yach mentioned that in previous years, people in the community who had their own garage sales would be asked to contribute 10%. It was suggested that the event should start earlier that 10 a.m., especially the garage sale. How about having separate events? Perhaps a pancake breakfast?
Election of CPCA Board of Directors for 2015/2016
By consensus, the following nominees were acclaimed as Board members for the upcoming year:
- Steve Wilson
- Brad White
- Mike Sims
- Dave Hunter
- Jennifer Bougie
- Bert Rupert
- Rob Edwards
- Catherine Fortune
- Dave Madden
- Jamie Mason
- Marjorie Shaver-Jones
Marjorie said that, in addition to the new Board Members, volunteers with expertise in property development, communications and law would be most welcome.
College Ward Update
Councillor Rick Chiarelli
Bert Rupert introduced Rick and talked about how Rick launched the ACE Unit at the QCH, and he has also been supportive of the hospital throughout the years. Bert spoke about the mandate of this very specialized unit, and mentioned that contributions from residents would help. Bert presented a cheque to Rick representing money raised at the auction, garage sale and BBQ, for the ACE Unit.
Rick announced an Enchantment-Under-the-Sea Dance at Algonquin College to be held on Oct. 21, as a fund raiser for the ACE Unit. A portion of money must be raised in the community for capital projects, which the ACE Unit is. This will be only one of two ACE Units in the province that deal with multiple health issues among the elderly.
Tennis courts in Greenlawn Park – surface will be re-done, new posts for the nets, tentatively scheduled for the spring 2016.
Ice Rink in Greenlawn Park – block grant program may be used to pay students to flood the rink and clean it. Community must prove that there is a viable rink – build with no boards, flood 3 times a week, have a place to store the hoses, city will check and report on it and if we do well, we might get a grant for next year. Pat mentioned that in previous times, a trailer was installed by the city. Rick said that isn’t done anymore, but if we got the grant, we could rent a trailer. Marjorie said we already have 17 volunteers, so that is a good start. Rick said that the city will pay for insurance. With no boards, hockey will not be allowed. No signs would be provided. Marjorie says that someone in the community might make a sign. There is a lot of competition for rink grants, but Rick felt that we were well underway to succeed.
Merivale Road – meeting about the future of Merivale Road will happen in early October. BIA is difficult because there are several different councillors involved. However, 30% of businesses and 30% of business property owners must object to have this fail.
Merivale Mall re-opened with Marshalls and a really nice new look. Rick mentioned that the over 10 million dollars put into the expansion was well-spent.
City is running a deficit of $52 million. Transit and snow removal were large expenditures that contributed to the deficit. Transit issues include forty thousand people laid off in the region, so they are no longer taking buses. Presto cards are transferable.
Rick encouraged people to give ideas to the City on how to save money. These ideas would help with how the City budget for the upcoming year is finally drawn up.
He mentioned that the homeless situation in Ottawa is huge, despite what the City claims. He spoke about taxes, and the fact that the deficit is real. He encouraged us to go to the Sportsplex on Sept 19 from 9-10 a.m. to voice ideas to the City to influence the budget.
Options for the Merivale Triangle were mentioned. Some asked about the untidiness of the un-developed area near Clyde where the Wal-Mart is. Rick’s office will look into it.
City has committed to planting 1 million trees, for 2017 and encourages residents to ask for trees by calling Rick’s office. Trees should be planted before the end of October to maximize their survival.
Question about property tax assessments that went up higher than the average of 1.7%. Rick says some were higher but an equal number decreased, so the city doesn’t actually benefit. The better a community gets, the higher the assessments.
Kathy Yach spoke of the Council on Aging and its fundraising efforts. Tim Horton’s has selected two local organizations to split the profits from “Smile Cookie” sales from September 14-20. The Council on Aging and the Snowsuit Fund will benefit this year.
Other uses for Ainsley Park, Greenlawn Park and Copeland Park.
Steve Wilson asked for any ideas community members may have that we can present to the City and request funding? Splash pad, skating rink (need volunteers to take care of the rink). Pat Mulvihill congratulated the people who use Greenlawn Park, such as day care providers, who use the park on a daily basis. These people make sure that the park is left clean. It’s great that it is an “open park” so that kids can just “free play”. She complained about dog walkers who deposit dog poop in the garbage container, where it can sit for up to a week before being collected.
Another resident spoke about how the rink used to be used, and is happy to report that kids will use the rink if it is built. Many people will benefit.
Another resident mentioned that a field house would be great!
Adjournment: 9:05 PM