Howe Island Ratepayers Association
Minutes of the Directors Meeting, December 18th 2006.
Held in St Philomena’s Church Hall.
Attendance; Chair Austin Page; Directors, Brian Humphrys, Michael Hickey, Jim Mills,Roger Scott-Taggart; Committee Chair Matt Fiene. Also in attendance; Geoff Hobbs, Robert Hall, Gerry Ross, Davis Bull, Robin ? .
Apologies for Absence; Heather Lippert. Absent: Aileen Beehler, Faye Muller.
- Austin Page called the meeting to order at 7pm .
- The agenda circulated was adopted.
- The chairman requested minutes be prepared for the October Public Safety meeting.
- The minutes of the last executive meeting on September 18th were approved as circulated.
- Matters arising; on Neighbourhood Watch Shelagh MacDonald has arranged a meeting with Stacey Cooper, OPP for January 19th.
- WRAFT AGM Report; David Bull is on the executive of the Waterfront Ratepayers after Fair Taxation and tabled a report from their November AGM. As part of an even larger group, Citizens after Property Tax Reform (CAPTR) WRAFT is supporting a vigorous and effective lobbying effort on behalf of almost 2 million members. This is aimed at capping in some form property tax assessments. David Bull is optimistic that a positive outcome will emerge before the end of the current two-year assessment freeze.
- Public Safety Meeting; Jim Mills reported the meeting was well attended and informative. It suffered from the absence of County executive Paul Charbonneau who would have covered land ambulance procedures and coordination with ferries and HI Fire Department.
- Ferry Report follow-up; Jim Mills tabled a letter from County CAO Elizabeth Fulton, dated November 3rd, that responded point by point to the Report. This will be posted on the HIRA website. Scheduling the transit of emergency vehicles to the island is still a problem that requires a meeting with Paul Charbonneau in his responsibility for the County ferry. Jim will arrange for this in early 2007.
- Quarry Update; HIRA directors met in October with concerned Spithead residents to explain HIRA’s neutral position. Brian Humphrys described the subsequent bylaws passed by Council, changing the zoning bylaw and official Plan. It is not known if formal objections to these changes have been lodged.
- Website Update; Robert Hall demonstrated the current HIRA website. Gerry Ross asked if his Friends of Howe Island site could be merged with HIRA’s. They were jointly asked to provide an example of how this would look with the formal HIRA home page linked with day to day news and possibly a chat room.. In addition it was decided to post minutes in draft to avoid delays. It was decided to request Council provide prior to each council meeting agendas and full meeting documentation available on the township website.
- Recycling Committee; temporarily suspended until a replacement chair can be found with the resignation of Councillor Fiene.
- December Council Meeting Report; Roger Scott-Taggart recounted the move to declare surplus and sell the town owned lot at the Foot ferry. Geoff Hobbs provided background on the acquisition of this lot, donated by P Beseau for ” parkland and recreational purposes “. Councillor Fiene recommended delaying the sale of the lot until the public could be consulted but the lot was declared surplus. HIRA will inform residents of the situation and send a letter to Council requesting a hold on any action until public consultations are completed and the larger question of water access public parks is addressed.
The mayor opened the Council meeting with a statement of his priorities for the new four year term .Two Wolfe Island issues….ferry upgrade and windfarm construction…. But the third priority was to reduce friction between Wolfe and Howe wards and forge a common identity.
To achieve this he proposed to pursue the end of area rating of finances and to revive plans for a bridge from Howe to the mainland. It was decided that HIRA should put Council on notice that questions of area rating and a bridge link are of high interest to ratepayers and will be followed closely by this organisation
- A nominating committee for the 2007 executive was struck. Austin Page, Michael Hickey and Geoff Hobbs will work up a slate of candidates for proposal to the AGM which was set for May 24th 2007.
- The meeting was terminated at 9.40pm
R.Scott-Taggart 19th December 2007.