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Annual General Meeting minutes – Nov 3rd, 2017

2017 November 10
by Melissa

AGM2017

6:00 Welcome
6:15 Chair’s speech: Highlighted VPNA events and neighbourhood involvement over the last year. rych mills spoke about the gallery in the park briefly and also thanked Mark and Glennis Yantzi for their years of service to the neighbourhood as they have now moved to a new home outside of the neighbourhood.
6:30 Programming: Trivia and pizza
7:05 Elections: 2018 board members: Chair-Melissa B; Treasurer-Rose O; Secretary-Anka B; Newsletter editor-vacant; Program coordinator-Charlotte K; Communications coordinator-Cathy L; DNA liaison-Patrick G; Events coordinator-Steve B; Volunteer coordinator-vacant; Members-at-large-Rebekah H, Erin T, Mario, Anna M, Gillian V.
7:20 Programming: Trivia
7:45 Closing remarks and prizes

 

The latest from Frank Etherington: Councillors yowling about cat-license clawback

2017 November 9
by Melissa

Kitchener councillors have de-furred the cat-licensing issue until Dec. 4.
And, with a jaundiced eye on potential lost-pet votes in the 2018 municipal election, I doubt the cat-fight issue will gain more that lukewarm support when my motion comes back for consideration with what I predict will be at least one added clause.
I think that once a staff report on potential workload and years of public consultation involved in the subject of cat licenses and microchipping returns to city hall, councillors will take a long pause, a lengthy catnap and no action on a subject dismissed as a “cash grab” by Mayor Berry Vrbanovic..
Which means we will ignore all issues of unfairness for dog owners and the increasing drain of $630,000 paid out each year by taxpayers to care for stray animals — 66 per cent of them abandoned, unlicensed cats.
That lack of equality has to do with about 40,000 dog owners who are supposed to buy $30 licenses (only 15,000 do so today) while an estimated 50,000 cat owners do not.
On the workload issue councillors are fully aware that cities including Guelph, Stratford, London, Mississauga, Sudbury, Ottawa, Peterborough, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Montreal successfully introduced cat licensing without rushing out to hire dozens of people to cope with a spitting push-back from cat owners.
After a recent tour of our excellent humane society shelter, I’m convinced Kitchener should create a set fee for a cat license that would be reduced if a responsible pet owner microchips the pet in order to quickly reunite the missing feline.
Then, when the cats came back, it would save us all tax dollars

Position descriptions for the 2017 AGM

2017 October 29
by Melissa

AGM2017

Our AGM is Friday, November 3rd, 2017 at 6pm at the Victoria Park pavilion. Here are the descriptions for the positions we have up for election:

Victoria Park Neighbourhood Association: Annual General Meeting – Position Descriptions

Chair (or co-chairs)

Duties:

  • Preside at all meetings of the Neighbourhood Association. The Chair shall see that the Constitution is adhered to and that the Board takes the required action to fill all offices and appoint all committees. The Chair shall be ex-officio, a member of all committees.
  • Act as neighbourhood contact for all correspondence from City of Kitchener and other groups, including emails, letters and phone calls.
  • Have signing authority for VPNA financial transactions.
  • Manage administrative duties and correspondence.
  • Work with City of Kitchener staff to achieve goals of the Association.
  • Assist other executive members in fulfilling their duties.
  • Receive all association correspondence and retain copies of all letters written by or to the Executive as appropriate.
  • Stay up to date with issues affecting the neighbourhood and Victoria Park Working Committee.

Time Commitment: Attend Executive Meetings – 3 hours per month; Plus, other time as needed, between 10-20 hours a month

Treasurer

Duties:

  • As a member of the Victoria Park Neighbourhood Association (VPNA) Executive, the Treasurer is responsible for attending to all financial matters related to the functions of VPNA and its programs. The treasurer must attend monthly meetings of the VPNA executive, which take place on weeknights. Duties include administering funds from program registration, grants and related funding activities, preparing annual budget, tracking of expenses and disbursements, and co-signing cheques with the VPNA Chair. Also, assist VPNA executive to prepare grant proposals and the financial plan for the Neighbourhood Association as needed.
  • Previous financial experience required, preferably with a non-profit organization. May provide training to the right individual, such as an accounting or business student. Orientation to the VPNA and current financial practices of the organization will be provided.
  • Must be bondable, and provide references and police records check to qualify for this position if requested.
  • The VPNA treasurer must live within the VPNA boundaries, Queen St. to Spadina to Van Camp/West Ave to Victoria Street to Joseph Street.

Time Commitment: Work at own pace from home, approximately 3-5 hours per month. Attend monthly meetings, approx. 3 hours, and be available to attend to financial matters as they arise.

Secretary

Duties:

  • Shall keep a complete record of all business transacted by the Association.
  • Take minutes at every meeting and send them out to the board members in a timely manner.
  • Be responsible for the preparation and distribution of notices for all meetings of the Association.
  • Shall notify each member of the Executive and the City of Kitchener staff of the time and place of each meeting.

Time commitment: Approximately 5 hours per month, plus monthly meetings, approx. 3 hours

Newsletter Editor

Duties:

  • Compile and edit the “Quarterly News” of the Victoria Park Neighbourhood Association (VPNA) – “news, information and happenings in our neighbourhood.” Working with the Executive committee, the editor will solicit articles and items of interest for the newsletter, and prepare it for publication. Layout and formatting can be done by the editor, or with assistance from other executive members or City of Kitchener staff. Newsletters are published each season of the year to highlight coming events and issues, usually in January, April, July and October. Content is subject to approval by the VPNA President, and printed in co-operation with the City of Kitchener, for distribution to households and businesses in the VPNA area. The editor will also work with current volunteers to ensure distribution and delivery of the newsletter. The editor is a member of the VPNA Executive, and expected to attend monthly meetings on weeknights.
  • The newsletter editor must live within the VPNA boundaries, Queen St. to Spadina to Van Camp/West Ave to Victoria Street to Joseph Street.

Time Commitment: 4 issues per year, approximately 10 – 15 hours per issue; Attend Executive Meetings – 3 hours per month

Programmer (or Co-Programmers)

Duties:

  • Develop, coordinate and maintain programs run through the VPNA
  • Work with instructors and volunteers – recruit, hire and supervise
  • Provide registration service for VPNA Programs
  • Work in conjunction with staff at the Downtown Community Centre (DCC), where programs take place, ensuring good liaison between instructors and the DCC
  • Brainstorm issues and be available to attend to matters that arise
  • Submit program information quarterly for Leisure Guide and DCC Program Flyer
  • Attend monthly meetings of the VPNA executive, which take place on weeknights

Time commitment: Ranges from 5-10 hours per month, more at beginning of each session, plus attend monthly meetings, approx. 3 hours

Members at Large

Duties:

  • Help with events
  • Attend meetings and stay informed on VPNA issues
  • No other prescribed duties, but welcome to volunteer to help with other tasks of the VPNA.

Time commitment: Attend monthly meetings, approx. 3 hours; Time for additional tasks as agreed upon.

Communications Coordinator:

  • Share VPNA programs, events, and issues through a variety of means including the website, Facebook page, and Twitter account. Ensure these tools stay up to date. Maintain a database for email news to be passed on as appropriate.
  • Communicate with the newsletter editor as needed to coordinate efforts in communicating information to the neighbourhood.

Events Coordinator:

  • Facilitate events run by the VPNA
  • Search out potential partnerships for events (for example, other neighbourhood associations, city events, events sponsored by business such as Earth Day clean Up in the past)

DNA liaison:

  • Represent the VPNA at DNA meetings

Volunteer Coordinator:

  • Maintain database of potential volunteers (see volunteer team)
  • Coordinates volunteers as needed
  • Coordinates volunteer appreciation initiatives (thank you notes, appreciation night, etc).

Youth team/board:

  • A small group of young people (ages 10-18) who meet with the VPNA executive quarterly or on an as needed basis to discuss issues important to youth, suggest events that they may like to lead/run/participate in.

Volunteer team:

  • Volunteers who do not necessarily attend monthly meetings but are willing to assist with events and programs on an occasional basis.

Trivia, pizza party, and agm!

2017 October 27
by Melissa
November 3, 2017
6:00 pmto8:00 pm

AGM2017

Pumpkinpalooza Nov 1, 2017

2017 October 25
by Melissa

Join us Nov 1st in the Victoria Park Commons (near the clock tower) for our 3rd annual Pumpkinpalooza! Bring your jack o’lantern (lit with a battery-operated tealight or glowstick) and we will put them on display. Grab one of the hot drinks we’ll have and chat with a neighbour while taking a look at the creativity of our local neighbourhood pumpkin carvers! At the end of the night, leave your pumpkin there and we will compost it.

Pumpkinpalooza

VPNA Meeting Minutes – October 10, 2017

2017 October 14
by Melissa
Welcome
Councilor updates: Frank away. Updates on Nougat development; Jubilee crossing; Iron Horse Trail upgrades – delayed as there were no bids – will be retendered this Winter; house on West Ave – has been torn down now; Kitchener Heritage discussion re: Queen houses.
City updates: FoN finale – who can attend? Anna and Steve will attend. Nov 19/17. Agnes has connected with a resident at Linden Terrace and they are having conversations about possible playground improvements to that area. Agnes will keep us informed as needed.
Finance: Sent in a cheque to FoN for our sponsorship of the newcomer award.
Newsletters: We should send the newsletter to Agnes by Oct 20th. Ideas: Update neighbours on NAP; Save the date for a family day event; highlight DCC programming; updates from Frank on Iron Horse or community gardens; highlight the food forest and possible upcoming improvements such as signage and edging.
Little Library: Can be part of our placemaking grant application to the City along with a bench, community info board, anything else? Not this year as we will instead focus on developing a crossing over West Ave at Homewood.
Programming: no report
DNA: no report
VPWG: Still waiting to hear back from City staff about letter sent regarding the path between David St and the Boathouse. Update from Oct 2/17 – the path has been (mostly) paved. There is a section towards David St that has not been – perhaps it was deemed in a condition that did not require paving?
NAP: How do we proceed about the donated tree? Josh (NDO) will be attending the next NAP meeting to help us figure out next steps for the NAP. Melissa has connected with Brock Street neighbours group – some may be interested in joining NAP team as well.
Food Forest: Good news: Kitchener Post did an article on the City’s NAP process and used the VPNA’s work as an example of this process. Bad news: Within the same week, 2 of the 3 guilds in the Food Forest were cut down by a City staff person worried about certain plants possibly being harmful to others such as stinging nettle. Melissa, Charlotte, and Agnes have been in conversation with City staff in response to this situation.
Events: Pumpkinpalooza Nov 1st

·         We need some hot chocolate and apple cider (and cups – though we still have some leftover from last year that Melissa can bring as well). Erin will follow up on this – Cathy may have a connection at Williams worth pursuing.

·         We need some more battery-operated tealights – Erin to purchase.

·         Erin has a small card table she will bring that evening for the hot drinks.

·         Melissa will start posting to social media about this event and the AGM.

·         Steve will work on flyers and deliver some to the pumpkin farms. We will also make some so people can hand them out Halloween night. We will also print off AGM flyers to hand out that night as well.

·         We discussed whether to place pumpkins on clock tower or the commons area. It can be crowded around the clock tower but that can also often encourage conversations with neighbours. The clock tower can provide a good photo op as well. We will section off part of the clock tower steps for the pumpkins and as that fills up we can extend it over towards the commons area.

·         Agnes will arrange for pumpkin disposal with pick up right at the clock tower.

AGM Nov 3rd

·         We will do another trivia and pizza night for the agm this year. Pizza slices are 50 cents a slice and we will order veggie, pepperoni, and deluxe options. We will use a tally sheet to know what types of pizzas to order. The AGM will be 6-8pm.

·         Anna will do a Costco run for appetizers, snacks and drinks such as veggies and dip, chips, and juice boxes.

·         Agnes will let us know if there is a sock or pajama drive happening at that time that we can also collect for.

·         Agnes will see if Fabienne is willing to run the elections.

·         Todd and rych are willing to lead the trivia again this year.

·         Let’s highlight the NAP and seek feedback/engagement.

·         Let’s provide something on the tables for the kids as well – Melissa will bring ‘love my hood’ books and crayons.

·         Melissa will send out a task list and people can sign up for their tasks that way.

·         Anna would like to move into a member-at-large role, leaving the role of newsletter editor open to anyone interested.

·         We need to get some prizes for the trivia as well: Boathouse? rych? FourAll? Family Day event

Feb 19th – Yes, we will plan for an event that Monday.

Miscellaneous: Follow up on last month’s guest speaker from Community Support Connections.
Information for future meetings:
Adjournment

More from Councillor Etherington…

2017 October 4
by Melissa

Victoria Park heritage homes facing demolition

Kitchener councillors will now decide if regional government will be allowed to bulldoze two Queen Street houses near Joseph Schneider Haus.

They will do so after the city’s heritage committee voted 6-2 yesterday to reject a proposal by their own heritage and planning staff to save the houses.

Two of the three Kitchener councillors who sit on the city’s heritage committee — Paul Singh and Bil Ioannidis — voted to scrap their own staff recommendation. Ioannidis also chaired the meeting where the current committee chair, vice chair and several committee members were absent.

The boarded-up, 90-year-old houses the Region want to demolish are located at the bottom of Schneider Avenue and form part of the supposedly protected Victoria Park heritage conservation district.

The Region has owned the houses for 28 years but has done nothing to add them to the Schneider Haus property. The Region also did nothing when it had the opportunity to exempt the houses from the neighbourhood heritage district created in the mid-1990s.

In my opinion, if the Region now succeeds at demolishing the houses, it will set what Kitchener heritage officials describe as “a dangerous precedent” in what represents one of the city’s most beautiful communities

That precedent could involve any developer who buys one or more homes in the Victoria Park neighbourhood and announces he or she wants to flatten the properties and build something else. The developer could then point to the Region’s demolitions and use them as justification for circumventing city heritage regulations.

At a time when the Region has at least 10,000 seniors, adults and children on a waiting list for affordable housing, the emergency-housing provider argues the two homes are unsuitable for low-cost shelter.

They claim the houses cost too much to maintain to which I argue the region should sell or  rent the properties. They would be worth about $1million if sold and that cash could, among other things, be used to upgrade Schneider Haus.

If you want to comment on the issue I would strongly suggest you register to speak and attend the Oct. 16 council meeting.

I will vote in support our excellent staff report but, considering the obvious politics at work and the fact Mayor Berry Vrbanovic also supports the Region’s proposal, I predict the two homes — big enough to house several large families — will be flattened.

The latest from Councillor Etherington…

2017 October 4
by Melissa

Schneider’s site sold to London developer

The massive former Schneider’s site adjacent to Light Rail Transit in Kitchener’s Mill-Courtland community has been bought by London developer Auburn Developments and will be developed during the next seven years..
When fully developed the site will become Kitchener’s largest housing development, an urban village sprawling over 11 hectares (27.6 acres) of property.
Preliminary plans for the development were announced this morning after the site stood empty for three years..
Auburn is known locally as the developer of the upscale Arrow Lofts on Benton Street, Kitchener and Barrel Yards in Waterloo.
The Schneider site is likely to eventually accommodate more than 2,000 housing units next to the LRT on Borden Avenue.
Now the sale is complete, here’s hoping councillors, planners and developers will make certain the highest standards of urban design are used on a development where Schneider’s first established its historic meat-packing plant 91 years ago.
Auburn is considering a mix of residential, light commercial and other uses on the site which has 750,000 square feet of vacant industrial and office possibilities as well as 150,000 square feet of converted commercial space..
Some existing buildings will be demolished while the office structure and warehouse could be converted for other uses. Planners are looking at a mix of residential, commercial and institutional and office use along Courtland.
Preferred plans include medium and high-rise residential uses at the back of the site complete with innovation employment sites and possibilities for a brewpub, retail and restaurants.
However, because of construction and location difficulties, I’m disappointed that Schneider’s Creek, currently buried under the site, does not look as though it will be naturalized and unearthed.
There’s also no indication the village will include any subsidized,affordable housing.
But I’m working on it.

VPNA in the news…

2017 October 4
by Melissa

MelissaBowman___Super_Portrait

Learn about plans for the food forest in Victoria Park as well as what’s happening with the City’s #lovemyhood strategy:

https://www.kitchenerpost.ca/news-story/7562412–food-forest-looks-to-expand-in-victoria-park/

A local real estate blog highlights the Victoria Park neighbourhood:

http://wrxpropertygroup.com/victoria-park-neighbourhood-association-kitchener/

Homewood Green celebrates the official opening of the new and improved parkette:

https://www.therecord.com/news-story/7587692-neighbours-city-breathe-new-life-into-neglected-parkette/

NAP survey – until September 30th, 2017

2017 September 15
by Melissa

Give your feedback on our suggested neighbourhood priorities until September 30th, 2017.

your voice matters

https://goo.gl/forms/mWJALrRTmG2NG14y2

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