In attendance: Laura Peacock, Gord Walter, Alan Sherbinin, Arlene Marshinew, David Naples, Linda Payne
Regrets: Gudren Hohenwarter
A. Society’s Purpose / QRRA Role
At its January meeting, the Board had decided that Alan would draft a revised purpose for discussion. This was circulated prior to the meeting. The board was happy with the write up; however, some edits and additions are needed. Once the second draft is approved, the Board will decide how to circulate to the membership and update the website.
After the January meeting, while reviewing online information on the City of Kelowna’s website, it was quite inadvertently discovered that a City of Kelowna policy existed with respect to the role and purpose of residents’ associations: Guidelines for Communications & Cooperation Between the City and Residents Associations | City of Kelowna
Policy 3.05, originally brought into force in 2002, is likely the rationale behind QRRA’s purpose:
To act as a conduit for community interests; act as a resource for relevant community information; and promote community safety through member awareness;
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.
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.
The Strong Neighbourhoods department was asked about this policy and why it had not been followed with respect to the Carney Park improvement request. Strong Neighbourhoods department responded that the policy had not been followed for a while and, in part, this was the reason their department had been charged to meet with the QRRA last month. Their goal was to learn more about all residents’ associations’ histories, structures, mandates, capacities, neighbourhood involvement and engagement. The policy might be rewritten based on this information. Gord also attended a Council meeting and spoke with several members of Council about the problems the association has encountered with respect to the improvements to Carney Park.
B. Financial Report
It was reported that the association is in good financial standing, with funds in excess of $16,000 after covering the cost for garbage pick up from the stone aggregate garbage cans ($700) and the copyright of “QRRA” ($132).
All strata memberships have been renewed and along with the Fall membership renewals, the association stands at approximately 385 members. 52 members did not renew. Given that three notices were sent, these will be removed from the contact list.
The Treasurer will research the interest rates available for GIC investments for the contingency reserve and how this change might impact the banking fee plan.
A membership drive will take place later this spring. The cost of having a billboard posted on Quail Ridge Boulevard to encourage sign up, as well as the cost of a mass membership postcard, will be investigated.
It was suggested that the City of Kelowna should be covering these garbage collection expenses, given that the garbage cans are on public land. In the past, the City did help pour the pads for the garbage cans but no further assistance was provided.
It was also suggested that the City be approached to help support the ongoing costs of running the residents’ association. Policy 3.05 did provide start up assistance but no further assistance is contemplated. This is a significant issue given that residents’ associations must register as non-profits – in BC, non-profits are governed by the Society Act – but no assistance is provided to help these volunteer associations interpret the requirements under this legislation. The Society Act does cover investment and borrowing but provides no regulatory input on non-profit finances, such as operating funds, the management of contingency reserve funds, minimum / maximum contributions to the fund, budgeting etc. Federally, the resident association does not need to file taxes as it is a non-profit with under $10,000 in revenues. But, the administrative burden of managing membership, email communications and preparation for an Annual General Meeting is onerous and is likely onerous on other small non-profit associations.
Finally, it was suggested that the City be approached to emphasis the need to develop processes to ensure that communication processes are put in place, as contemplated in Policy 3.05, to enable residents’ associations to provide public input to Council and involvement in all matters pertaining to planning for the future of the city.
In particular, QRRA would like to ensure that:
(a) all of the work discussed with the City to improve Carney Park, Quail Park Place and the signage along the linear trails, and
(b) the improvements to the service road between Country Club Boulevard and UBCO move ahead.
C. Garage Sale, FireSmart Clean Up and BBQ 2023
Date of the garage sale to be confirmed with the FireSmart Team before announcement.
Meeting adjourned: 5:00 pm