Minutes of Meeting, September 18, 2008

 

Present: Leonore Bradley (Guildford Community Partners), Doug Bell, Darlene Bowyer (Port Kells CA), Bonnie Burnside (Whalley CA), Nick Kapty (Cranley Park RA), Lianne McMahon (Fraser Heights CA), Don Moffat (Country Woods CA), Barb Paton (Semiahmoo RA), Mike Proscow (Country Woods RA), Grant Rice (St Helens Park RA), Wally Sandvoss (Port Kells CA), Fred Weber (Ocean Park CA), Velma Wilson (Cloverdale CA), Rosemary Zelinka (Elgin Ratepayers and Coordinator for Surrey ASC).

 

1. Appointment of Chair

Darlene Bowyer was appointed Chair for this meeting.

 

2. Approval of Agenda

The Agenda was approved as circulated.

 

3. Minutes of Previous Meeting

Moved by Barb Paton and seconded by Wally Sandvoss, that the Minutes of the May meeting be approved as circulated. CARRIED

 

4. Business arising from the Minutes

(a) Report re Executive Actions May-Sept.

The Coordinator reported that, with the agreement of the Executive, 2 presentations had been made to Council; the one in June was made by Bonnie Burnside and Rick Hart and urged Council to redirect large grant funds to provide small matching grants for communities to use for projects, and requested more community group information on the City’s website. The second, regarding public consultation processes, is discussed in more detail below.

The Coordinator then provided a summary report (attached) on two meetings held in Newton, to gather input from local community associations, resource organizations, business people and residents knowledgeable about Newton on how encouraging community development and formation of groups could best proceed. From these meetings, it is evident that Surrey ASC would need to hire a community developer to undertake this encouragement, due to the large number of contacts to be pursued and meetings to be held (see work program section below).

(b) Reports from Member groups

Port Kells - the Community Association is planning to erect 11 plaques to record Port Kells’ heritage, with the assistance of the City. But costs have escalated considerably.

Semiahmoo RA – the association has become very active and membership has increased to 130, due to concerns about the proposed redevelopment of the Semiahmoo Mall, which includes 36 storey apartment buildings.

Fraser Heights CA – things have been relatively quiet over the summer. There is considerable speculation about what future transit opportunities will occur as a result of the twinning of the Port Mann Bridge and the new 156 St. underpass.

Ocean Park CA – Council approved a downzoning of the Crescent Park Annex area at the request of residents of that area. It downzones from RF to a CD zone that maintains the large lots that are characteristic of the area.

Cloverdale CA- there are concerns about residential areas too close to high impact industrial areas.

South Westminster RA– there are issues with crime (Block Watch is being encouraged), illegal additions to houses, and boarding houses. Regulations re alcohol and drug recovery homes should be investigated.

Country Woods RA– membership and funding have increased, and the neighbourhood is becoming increasingly unified.

Whalley CA – A RCMP Block Party was held. The Farmers’ Market will run until October. The community art studio has proved very successful and is continuing. Over 300 people participated in the open houses for the draft Central Area Plan. There is an open house on Sept 24 at 5.30 pm regarding a proposed community centre/legacy project in Tom Binnie Park, which would be used for training volunteers for the Olympics.

(c) Sustainability Charter

Several Surrey ASC members attended further meetings run by the Mayor regarding the development of the above (some after pressing for permission to attend). Stage 1, the general principles, will be presented to Council on Sept. 22. Concerns were expressed about the selection of people to attend the meetings. Surrey ASC is on record as requesting a non-statutory public hearing before it is approved by Council. Stage 2 details, which include development checklists, targets, and evaluation criteria, are not on the horizon as yet.

 

5. New Business

(a) Presentation to Council re public consultation processes

The background to this matter is that the issues contained in the presentation were approved by the Executive and reflect concerns expressed in an earlier unanswered letter to Council and at several general meetings. It was known that the presentation is critical of Council and might not be appreciated by them. Following the presentation and after some members of Council were thought to be annoyed, some e-mails critical of the presentation and the Coordinator were sent to all people on Surrey ASC’s e-mail list. Subsequently, and before discussing this at a general meeting, Rick Hart decided to withdraw Fleetwood CA from Surrey ASC due to philosophical differences and Rob Terris resigned, citing concerns that Surrey ASC is no longer united.

All the Executive except one wishes it to be known that they stand behind the presentation and the Coordinator, and they feel that no damage has been done to Surrey ASC’s credibility. Bonnie Burnside has decided to continue on the Executive.

To ensure that similar issues do not arise again, a standing rule will be proposed regarding dissenting opinions from advocacy representations.

Members of Surrey ASC agreed that the appropriate method of dealing with issues like this is raise them at general meetings, rather than sending e-mails to all persons on the Surrey ASC e-mail list. Members expressed confidence in the Coordinator and her actions, and expressed appreciation of her volunteering so much time to Surrey ASC.

(b) Proposed work program, 2008-9 (attached)

It was noted that we do not have a strategic plan, but our work program is guided by our Constitution and also by the work program which the United Way approved when giving us a grant of $20,000. Some $17,000 remains, and the United Way expects the bulk of this funding to be spent before March 31.

As a result, it is proposed that we not only continue our work as an umbrella group, but also organize further workshops for community groups, and encourage the development of new groups to undertake projects in their areas. Due to the amount of work involved, the work program suggests that we hire a community developer, about half of whose time would be spent on encouraging community development in the Newton area, where there are many social problems and few community associations. This person would also apply for further grants. Some concerns were expressed as to how much time should be spent on Newton compared with the rest of the City. It was agreed that this matter would be referred to the Executive to make a decision on.

It was also agreed that the Coordinator would apply to the City for a grant of $5,000 to spend on a workshop similar to the one in May with Jim Diers.

(c) A proposed standing rule that Directors of Surrey ASC who decide to run for political office should take a leave of absence until after the election, or resign, was approved. Grant Rice announced that he would take a leave of absence from the Executive.

 

7. Next Meeting

Thursday, October 16 at 7.00 pm

 

8. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 9.20 pm.