Updated: Mar 6
QRRA Meeting Minutes January 16, 2023 In attendance: Laura Peacock, Gord Walter, Alan Sherbinin, Arlene Marshinew, David Naples, Gudren Hohenwarter
Regrets: Carol Anne Rivard, Linda Payne
A. Strong Neighbourhoods Tanya Sletten and Aimee Jensen, Community Development Coordinators, from the City of Kelowna’s Strong Neighbourhoods department met with the Board to learn more about QRRA’s history, structure, mandate, capacity, neighbourhood involvement and engagement. This meeting was part of a larger City project to learn more about the City’s various resident associations.
The Board went through an exercise to help the Strong Neighbourhoods understand the issues that residents’ associations can face in terms of building capacity and maintaining momentum.
Given that QRRA is a mature residents’ association, most issues around building capacity had been overcome; however, corporate administration, including interpretation of legislation, is an issue. One of the main issues the association has faced in terms of maintaining momentum has been the recent lack of support from the City of Kelowna Council (not staff). The Board discussed how a series of events seriously impacted the association and how some Board members had felt blindsided / frustrated over some recent “attempted” projects with the City. This had led to some of the Board to question the very purpose of the association and their work as volunteer board members.
The meeting concluded with a discussion around the various programs administered by Strong Neighbourhoods and how these could help support the QRRA FireSmart and/or Garage Sale: the Block connector program and party planning support, Strong Neighbourhoods grants, etc. As well, it was suggested that the Strong Neighbourhoods program could help develop a better forum for liaising and interacting with other residents’ associations in Kelowna.
B. Society’s Purpose / QRRA Role After the team from Strong Neighbourhoods departed the meeting, the Board briefly discussed how the learnings from this group impacted the Board’s ongoing efforts to define the relevancy of the association’s purpose.
Previously, the Board had agreed that the first 2 of the association’s purpose statements were still valid: To act as a conduit for community interests; act as a resource for relevant community information; and promote community safety through member awareness; AND, To partner with area businesses, the Okanagan Golf Club and the University of BC Okanagan, with an emphasis on building and fostering long term supportive relationships.
The issue had been around the final purpose statement that was discussed with the Strong Neighbourhood team: To engage with the City of Kelowna on proposals or bylaws that impact the community; represent the community on issues affecting the area; and access and coordinate resources to deal with interests and concerns as required.
As well, since the pandemic, residents understandably seem more inwardly focused / less happy / less patient with delays and problems. The Board discussed this at length and decided to continue the discussion at the next meeting before formally approaching membership with this question. The Board wants to do further work with the City. Alan will draft a revised purpose for discussion.
C. Garage Sale 2023 Alan will write up a draft plan. Arlene will investigate a better mapping program. Discussed dates and the idea of charging businesses to advertise on the back of the map handouts to help cover the cost of printing.
D. FireSmart Clean Up and BBQ 2023 Laura reported that Glen Maddess had expressed interest in a May event. The Board discussed running a community barbeque in conjunction with the clean-up. The Board discussed the Strong Neighbourhoods various support programs that could help. Some of these have an early application date.
E. Quail Ridge Community Banner Laura will investigate the cost to turn the Quail Ridge banner into a sign.
F. Evacuation Plan TBD. Laura will work to set another meeting with Glen Maddess and UBCO to discuss Pine Trail. Will look at revising the presentation of our evacuation plan on the website so it is more visible to residents.
G. Membership Fall renewals have been reconciled and a third, final, renewal notice will be sent to the remaining outstanding members. The Board did not have time to discuss business membership. This will be discussed at the next meeting. The Board will strive to run a membership drive in the Spring, given the number of new families that have moved into the area.
Meeting adjourned: 6:25 pm