GCA Board Meeting Minutes

 

Tuesday, March 26, 7:00 p.m.
Glebe Community Centre

 

Present:

Louise Arnoff, Elizabeth Ballard, Dan Chook Reid, June Creelman, Colette Downie, Sylvia Grandi, Rochelle Handelman (proxy for Carol Macleod), Jennifer Humphries (proxy for Angela Keller-Herzog), Bruce Jamieson, Sylvie Legros, Carolyn Mackenzie, Christine McAllister, Liz McKeen, Bill Price, Sue Stefko, Josh Van Noppen (proxy for Nini Pal), Sarah Viehbeck

 

Others: John Humphries, Jonathan Macleod, Alex

 

Regrets: Carol Macleod, Brenda Perras

 

WELCOME

Sarah welcomed all to the meeting and acknowledged that we meet on the unceded territory of the Algonquin people.

 

AGENDA AND MINUTES

The agenda was approved with amendments, including: postponing the discussion with a representative of the City regarding the secondary plan for Bank Street; moving the President’s report to be second on the agenda; and, adding reports from three GCA committees (Traffic, Great Glebe Garage Sale, Planning).

 

The agenda was approved with these adjustments (Sylvia /Rochelle). The February meeting minutes were approved without changes (Bill /June).

 

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Given recent conversations between the Mutchmor community (including its parent council), the City of Ottawa, school trustee Lyra Evans, and local community members, Sarah proposed that the GCA host a community meeting with the City, school board, and community members. She proposed the following motion:

 

Be it resolved that the GCA host a community meeting to enable discussion and community perspectives about the return of a boarded rink to the Glebe.

 

Discussion: Members spoke in favour of a community meeting. In response to a question, Sarah identified specific concerns being raised by parents (including a larger student population and the amount of space available for their use; sight lines; condition of the grass). She also said that the timing of the meeting would be coordinated with Shawn’s office.

 

A friendly amendment was put forward:

 

Be it resolved that the GCA host a community meeting to enable discussion and community perspectives about the return of a boarded rink to the Glebe, with due consideration of timing of when the City will make a recommendation to the Board.

 

Jon reported that Shawn and his staff are putting together a proposal with respect to the rink.

 

(Sarah / Christine)       Carried (with friendly amendment)

 

Sarah also reported:

  • Jane’s Walk is coming up on May 4-5; Shawn’s office is seeking interested volunteers to participate. Jennifer Humphries is leading one on May 5.
  • Bike Ottawa is looking for volunteers to present at a Spring Bike Ottawa event.
  • The community meeting about 99 Fifth has postponed; it will not take place on March 27.
  • There is a community garden workshop tonight to highlight opportunities to apply for funding to support community gardens.

 

REPORT FROM THE COUNCILLOR

On Shawn Menard’s behalf, Jonathan Macleod reported:

  • Shawn is not in the office for a few weeks, welcoming little Hazel to their family.
  • The 99 Fifth town hall was postponed because location was not accessible.
  • The Firehall Park, at O’Connor and Fifth, will be created this spring/summer. Jon said he would share the plans.
  • There will be changes to bus routes through the Glebe when the LRT starts (e.g., adding runs to the 56; new route 55; improvements to routes 6 and 7; less service to the 10). Shawn’s office will share details.
  • There are traffic concerns on Powell Avenue (e.g., speeding, volumes); Shawn’s office is working on traffic calming measures. Powell Avenue residents will be consulted.
  • The City will put up flex-stakes along the Glebe Avenue bike lane.

 

In response to Jon’s report, one Board member commended Shawn for his work on the Environment Committee; the Urban Forest Management Plan got an additional staff person and a strong commitment for a 2020 budget allocation. There are two motions being presented on April 16: delayed the implementation of plastic bags in green bins, and declaring a climate emergency in Ottawa. The GCA Environment Committee is supportive of both.

 

In response to a question about whether traffic calming on Powell will take place on both sides of Bronson, Jon said that it was not discussed but that he could raise it.

 

In response to a question about the implications of declaring a climate emergency in the City of Ottawa, Jon said that the motion was still being developed.

 

In response to a question about how the Bronson construction would affect Bank Street, Jon committed the link to the traffic management plan.

 

One Board member suggested there were lessons to be learned from the Glebe Avenue bike lane experience, including a lack of space (leading to parking in the bike lane, difficulties with right turns), and snow in the bike lane.

 

BUDGET PRINCIPLES

 

Motion 1: Budget principles

Whereas the Glebe Community Association Board adopted a set of budget principles in January 2018;

Whereas those principles did not contain specific figures where required; and

Whereas the Board discussed those figures at its February meeting;

 

Be it resolved that the following be adopted as the Budget Principles of the GCA Board:

  • An annual budget be prepared and approved by the Board each fall;
  • The GCA’s annual revenues from membership fees be allocated to cover the association’s non-discretionary or core operating expenses in serving members as a first priority before additional spending is incurred;
  • A minimum reserve of $25,000 of unencumbered funds be maintained at all times to maintain a prudent emergency fund for legal or other costs in cases of events such as a proposed large development that negatively affects the community;
  • Every effort is made to ensure spending is allocated equitably among all of the GCA’s areas of activity;
  • Every effort is made to provide the Board with quarterly financial statements;
  • A maximum of 25% of the GCA’s unencumbered balance is spent on a specific area of activities with community benefit in any given year unless the proposal is viewed by the Board of Directors to be of such importance that other priorities are deferred; and,
  • Significant project proposals must be discussed and debated with full disclosure a minimum of one Board meeting before a motion is presented to the Board.

 

Discussion: Sarah presented the budget principles with the figures to complete the principles (minimum reserve, maximum proportion of unencumbered balance). Sylvie clarified that these would be applicable next year (beginning in 2019-2020 FY). One Board member suggested that the reserve figure be higher. Another asked if it should be linked to inflation. One member said that this was a starting point that could be raised by future boards.

 

Two votes were taken with respect to the two budget principles:

  1. To establish a minimum reserve of $25,000 of unencumbered funds be maintained at all times to maintain a prudent emergency fund for legal or other costs in cases of events such as a proposed large development that negatively affects the community;

 

(Rochelle / June) Carried

 

  1. To establish that a maximum of 25% of the GCA’s unencumbered balance be spent on a specific area of activities with community benefit in any given year unless the proposal is viewed by the Board of Directors to be of such importance that other priorities are deferred.

 

(Christine / Jennifer) Carried

 

INSURANCE

 

Motion 2: Insurance

 

Be it resolved that the GCA purchase a Commercial General Liability insurance through the City’s Community Partners Insurance Program at a cost of $750 (plus taxes if applicable) for a $2 million coverage.

 

Discussion: Sylvie presented the motion. This insurance would cover liabilities for meetings, specific events (e.g., GCA AGM, Old Home Earth Day, candidate debates). She also said that have events at the GCC simplifies insurance requirements. The insurance would be for a year.

 

In response to a question, it was clarified that Dow’s Lake and the Glebe Annex were included in the GCA Bylaws, so would be covered.

 

In response to a question about whether the coverage extends to events in parks, Sylvie said that it covers events in “city facilities”.

 

In response to questions, Sylvie clarified that the CIEF grant project and Great Glebe Garage Sale were not considered in the insurance discussions.

 

(Sylvie /Rochelle) Carried

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS / MOTIONS / Q&A

 

Motion 3: Nominations Committee

 

Whereas the GCA nominates a slate of new Directors at its AGM in June; and

Whereas proactive efforts are typically required to secure a slate;

 

Be It Resolved That the GCA form an ad hoc nominations committee, chaired by a Vice-President, to recruit and propose a slate of Directors for the 2019-20 AGM.

 

Discussion: Sarah presented the motion. June and Josh said they were happy to lead this work.

 

(Carolyn / Dan) Carried

 

Motion 4: Membership Campaign

 

Whereas the proposed budget of the membership campaign is $830, broken down as follows:

  • 3500 8½ x 11 full colour double-sided trifold flyers $350 (Laser Zone)
  • 3500 2 x 3½ business cards, colour printing $100 (Laser Zone)
  • Envelops, elastics $50
  • Publicity, printing, posters, President’s letter, canvas instructions $30
  • Glebe Report ad $200
  • Online membership system (excluding per use fee) $100

And whereas each committee has $200 discretionary spending which has not been included in the proposed budget,

 

Be it resolved that the Membership Committee be given permission to spend up to $900 to cover the costs of the 2019 membership campaign.

 

Discussion: Rochelle presented the motion.

 

One Board member suggested that banner ads on the Glebe Report (costing approximately $85 per issue) be used. A friendly amendment was made to allow for at least one banner ad if Membership Committee decides to take advantage of that:

 

Be it resolved that the Membership Committee be given permission to spend up to $925 to cover the costs of the 2019 membership campaign.

 

(Rochelle / Christine) Carried

 

 

 

 

 

Additional motion: Joint All Candidates Meeting (Federal Election)

 

Be it resolved that the GCA join other Capital Ward community associations in the hosting of an all candidates debate for Ottawa Centre in advance of the fall 2019 federal election.

 

DIscussion – Sarah presented the motion. It was suggested that the GCC be the venue.

 

(Rochelle / Josh) Carried

 

 

Committee reports:

 

Environment Committee

John provided an update on the CEIF project, which is moving ahead. One issue still outstanding is obtaining the required commercial liability insurance. The committee will return to the Board regularly with updates. Sarah thanked Peter Vice for assisting with legal advice.

 

Great Glebe Garage Sale – May 25

Colette reported that the website is up-to-date and questions are coming in (including whether a permit is needed). People are encouraged to donate a percentage of sales to the Food Bank; $12,000 was raised last year, so it was suggested that we try to increase that amount this year. In response to a question, Colette said a budget would be presented at the next meeting. Jon invited Colette to share any concerns re: no parking signs with Shawn’s office.

 

Planning

Carolyn reported that the 99 Fifth consultation will focus on construction management. She also encouraged people to complete the Bank Street Height and Character Study survey by April 8. At the April GCA meeting, Carolyn will present a draft response for the Board’s consideration. There may also be a representative of the City present. In response to a question, Carolyn said she had no more information about the work beside the King’s Daughters.

 

Traffic

Sarah reported, on Matt’s behalf, that the committee discussed several issues with Shawn’s office, including snow clearing, parking on Second Avenue and the Bronson Bridge.

 

Lansdowne

There was some discussion about a recent newspaper article on Lansdowne. There will be a report to FEDCO next week with proposals to come in June. It was suggested that we set up some sort of mechanism to respond (e.g., use Ward Council or Lansdowne Working Group). Jon said that Shawn’s office was developing their response and is considering engagement.

 

 

GUIDELINES FOR GCA BOARD ON POLITICAL ACTIVITIES

June presented draft guidelines on political activities and the Board. Board members were generally supportive. One Board member suggested that the GCA engage in outreach to candidates who had not won. June will add this.

 

In the following discussion, Board members noted that, on one hand,

  • Meetings are quite full
  • The GCA hosts candidates’ debates
  • This brings partisan politics into our meetings
  • Those who show up tend to have a connection with the Board already
  • There can be as many as 10 or 11 candidates in provincial and federal elections
  • At the municipal level, councillor and school trustee candidates should be considered.

 

On the other hand,

  • It is interesting to hear from candidates
  • If people reach out to us, we should let them speak
  • This provide an “up close and personal” chance to engage with candidates
  • It helps to challenge the power of incumbency.
  • The GCA could prepare a list of questions for candidates to respond to in writing

 

Board members suggested that there could be different rules for municipal and provincial/federal candidates.

 

June invited Board members to send her any other comments. A motion on this will be presented at the next meeting.

 

COMMENTS / ISSUES FROM COMMUNITY

The Board noted, with deep thanks for his contributions to our community, that Tom Tanner passed away last week.

 

Dan reported that the CNIB is hoping to open a hub at Lansdowne in June. Advocacy is needed, as Lansdowne is not accessible for those people who are visually impaired.

 

OTHER BUSINESS

N/A

 

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 8:59 pm. (Rochelle / Elizabeth)