SURREY ASSOCIATION OF SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES
MINUTES OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING FOR 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012, at 6.30 pm
Cloverdale Library, 5642 176A St.
Persons present: Darlene Bowyer (Port Kells CA), Leonor Bradley (Guildford Community Partners Society), Irma Bijdemast (East Panorama Ridge CA), Bob Campbell (West Panorama Ridge RA), George Davies (Royal Heights Group, Deb Jack (Surrey Environmental Partners), Esther Johnson (Tynehead hatchery), Debbie Lawrence (East Panorama Ridge CA), Barb Paton (Semiahmoo RA), Grant Rice, Tammy Ritchie (WPRRA), Fred Weber (Ocean Park CA), Arnie van Hatten (WPRRA), Liz Walker (CRONIC), Rosemary Zelinka (Elgin Ratepayers and Coordinator for Surrey ASC).
1. Chair for the Meeting
Fred Weber was appointed Chair of the AGM.
2. Approval of Agenda
The Agenda was approved as circulated.
3. Coordinator’s report
It was moved by Barb Paton and seconded by Leonore Bradley that the Coordinator’s report for 2011, as circulated, be approved. CARRIED
4. Financial report
It was moved by Barb Paton and seconded by Darlene Bowyer that the 2011 Financial Statement be approved as circulated. CARRIED
5. 2012 Work Program and Budget
It was moved by Barb Paton and seconded by Darlene Bowyer that the 2012-2013 Annual Work Program and Budget be approved as circulated. CARRIED
It was agreed that greater efforts would be made to collect annual membership dues, and that the Executive would review the current membership policies with a view to bringing changes to the next AGM.
6. Election of Directors
Thanks were expressed to Fred Weber for his years of commitment to Surrey ASC, where he served on the executive for many years. Fred has decided to retire from the Board of Directors of Ocean Park CA and hence from Surrey ASC also.
The following members were acclaimed to serve on the Executive for 2011-2012:
Darlene Bowyer (Port Kells CA)
Leonore Bradley (Guildford Community Partners/Tynehead CA)
Barb Paton (Semiahmoo RA)
Rosemary Zelinka (Elgin Ratepayers)
I think this paragraph should be added as a p.s. or n.b. to the minutes Subsequent to the AGM, Bob Dhaliwal (West Panorama Ridge RA) who was unable to attend the AGM, agreed to continue to serve on the Executive. By invitation of the new Executive, …. also agreed to join the Executive
7. Guest Speaker - Bob Bose
Bob was introduced as a person who has spent many years serving the communities of Surrey, as a former Mayor and Councillor. He spoke on effective communication with City Hall. He reminisced about the growth of Surrey, starting as several separate communities that coalesced over the years after developers successfully pressed to fill in what were intended as density dip areas. He described Surrey’s business as development. He mentioned West Panorama Ridge Residents Association as a community group that developed power with City Hall early on and has managed to retain that influence over the years.
Bob wondered how government can be structured so that citizens can be engaged – a community of interest has been defined as only 1500 people. Surrey now has half a million people, with no ward system and no accountability. He talked about cities that have been effective in community engagement, such as Oak Bay. He noted that environmental groups have been reasonably successful because they are focused on specific issues and may become respected by a council. He commented on the lack of financial checks on municipal government.
Regarding elections, Bob thinks there needs to be controls over election spending, noting that Surrey First has spent $700,000 to elect a slate of candidates while SCC had spent $300,000 and elected none to Council. He wondered if there is not an incestuous relationship between those in power and administration people, and remarked that the word “politician” derives from the Latin for city. He considered it is not necessarily partisan to take a position.
He agrees with the position taken by Surrey ASC and many community associations that neighbourhood concept plans should be approved by bylaw rather than by council resolution, in order to provide a greater degree of certainty.
During the subsequent conversation with those attending the meeting, the role of a city manager was discussed and whether his power to alter staff reports was desirable. It was suggested that a “shadow council” should be set up.
Bob was thanked for his talk and for his many years of service to Surrey. He was presented with a small gift as a token of the esteem in which he is held by community groups.
8. Community Group Activities
Deb Jack reported that Surrey Environmental partners is sending a letter to the City regarding a request that the City donate parkland on which to build a cultural centre which would primarily serve one ethnic group. She requested that Surrey ASC do the same, as SEP feels that city-owned land should be for retained as parkland and not given over for the use of one part of the community. Surrey ASC Executive will give consideration to this matter.
The AGM adjourned at 9.10 p.m.