Executive Meeting Minutes September 2020

Meeting held Tuesday, September 15th, 2020 at 7:00pm

via video conference, hosted by John Keating

Attending: John Keating, Peter Norman, Margaret Smith, Harry Lay, Linda DeGiorgio, Rosa Cordiano, Mary Anne Quance, Richard Cavanagh, Brigid Higgins, Carol Gallagher, Dave Meslin, Nicholas Gallant (Councillor Bailão’s office), Adam Miller (Co-Chair, Regal Road School Council), Jaelyn Galbraith (Parent, Regal Road School)

Regrets: Beth Marcilio, Florence Watts

1 – Projects and events

  1. Virtual pub night

Peter Norman reported for Beth Marcillio. He stated that the August night had been cancelled and that the June event had been low key with not too many participants. Davenport MP Julie Dzerowicz, MPP Marit Stiles and Nicholas Gallant from the Councillor’s office attended the June night out. There was some brainstorming on ways to reinvigorate the event and make it meaningful in light of the on-going constraints of the pandemic. Rosa Cordiano suggested that the evening be set at a later hour for coffee/drinks. It was also suggested that a musician could be secured to enliven the night. The Executive will continue to explore ideas to keep the camaraderie alive through the pandemic. Stay tuned for the announcement about time and format of the October Zoom night out.

  • Canada Day report

Peter displayed a number of photos of the Canada Day Parade which had been a very successful event. John Keating reported that a growing crowd joined in as the parade progressed ending with 50-60 people scattered at a good distance in front of Regal Road School. Among those in attendance was Davenport MP Julie Dzerowicz, who spoke about what a privilege it is to live in a stable and peaceful country such as Canada. Everyone involved had a wonderful time, while doing a good job of staying two metres apart.

  • Virtual garden show report

Peter reported that the virtual garden went well with approximately a dozen people submitting a good number of photos for the website. There was lots of positive feedback and many people viewing the gardens through the virtual format so it was a successful way for residents to enjoy the gardens despite the pandemic restrictions.

  • What to do about pumpkin carving this year?

John suggested that the pumpkin carving would not be a viable activity during the pandemic and suggested that we skip the event for this year. Peter proposed that the RHRA find other ways to support a safe Halloween. Ideas included arranging a parade, costume event, and safely-prepared candy baggies. Dave Meslin suggested that in lieu of the pumpkin carving that the RHRA participate in the pumpkin parade that takes place in the days after Halloween. A committee was struck to plan a Halloween event for Regal Heights; John, Margaret, Linda, Dave, Harry and Peter all volunteered to sit on the committee; John will host the first meeting (date to be advised). John will also contact the Regal Road School Council for their input.

2 – Communications and Planning

  1. Communications

Peter mentioned that there wasn’t much activity over the summer. He is always open to input on how to improve communications. The website is up to date. The Committee of Adjustment tracker has some new information on projects underway in the neighbourhood.

  • Regal Road School COVID plans and discussion

Adam Miller and Jaelyn Galbraith represented the Regal Road School Council  to inform and seek feedback from the RHRA on the status of programming at the school. The school plans to hold as many classes as possible out of doors during the pandemic and the Council is assisting to create outdoor education facilities around school property. The ideas involve movable fencing and tarps, with roped off areas for various classrooms with logs and milk crates for seating. Set-up at the front of the school, a quieter and therefore preferred spot for learning, may impact some local residents. The following motion was passed: The RHRA executive supports the efforts of parents and teachers at Regal Road Public School, in their efforts to use outside spaces to make the back-to-school experience safer for students. We ask them to report back to us, with monthly updates.

The RHRA will post information from the Parent Council on the RHRA website to inform residents of developments throughout the school year. It was suggested that the RHRA team up with the Parent Council for work on outdoor plantings. Another idea was explored that neighbouring residents could offer their front yards for use with small groups. The Parent Council emphasized that community members are always welcome to the Parent Council meetings.

Some executive members noted that ropes tied to mark the outdoor classroom areas might be tied at a hazardous height. Adam Miller will report to the council to have the situation rectified.

  • Regal Heights Review: discussion on whether it will go ahead this year

John reported that one of the writers has moved from the area and the team is quite small with few volunteers. It was agreed that the next edition be held back at least until the spring in the hope that more volunteers can be recruited and the team can potentially meet in person.

  • Abandoned house at 16 Lauder

Brigid Higgins indicated that the house has been abandoned for 18 years and its decaying condition is a potential safety hazard. Previous efforts to get the owner to repair or sell the house have been unsuccessful. Nicholas Gallant reported that every notice of violation issued against the property has been promptly dealt with. That makes it impossible for the City to take the issue further. Dave reported that he is in dialogue with the owner and is attempting to make inroads with him to clean up the property. John offered to help Dave with any clean-up that can occur.

  • Traffic light at Oakwood and Rosemount

Nicholas Gallant provided an update on the traffic lights. An installation contract was initiated by Transportation Services to install the traffic light in the fourth quarter of 2020. Nick reaffirmed that the proposal was originally approved by the previous councillor, based in part on police opinion that a light was warranted. The cost will be $180,000.

Margaret Smith pointed out that to go ahead with the installation at this point was in violation of the City’s promise that it would step back from the project to conduct further traffic studies and to consult the community – a consultation that had been postponed due to COVID. Nicholas agreed, but said there appeared to be a lack of communication between City departments. He said to stop the installation of the light, City Council would have to pass a special motion and timelines do not make that possible. He also said the City feels obligated to carry through once the installation contract in granted. There was discussion about the problematic communication breakdown that led to the current situation. Nicholas explained that the installation would not be cancelled at this point and indicated that Councillor Bailão would continue to examine the issue of proper traffic flow with consideration to overall implications for the neighbourhood.

f) A Memorial bench on Springmount

John said that a number of residents were inquiring about a bench to memorialize the life of a young Springmount resident who died this past spring. Nicholas reported that depending on the location of the bench, either Public Transportation or Public Parks would be responsible for handling the request. He promised to look into it further.

  • Discussion: What should be the role of RHRA during COVID?

John raised the question of whether or not the Executive should continue to meet by Zoom monthly during the pandemic and whether the RHRA should cut back its activities until the crisis ended. Peter noted that the last major event, the Canada Day parade, was very successful and that smaller online events had also been well received. Peter suggested that the RHRA should step up during this time to strengthen community ties. It was agreed that the RHRA is an important conduit for the community for any issues that arise and so the Executive should ensure that the RHRA remain active during the pandemic.

3 – Police Community Partnership

  1. Update on latest developments

Rosa reported that there have been no meetings of the partnership since our last meeting. There is no update available.

4 – Street Beautification Programs

  1. Garden plans for the fall

Mary Anne Quance reported that the fall is a great time to get work done.  Perhaps a Zoom meeting could be held to create a list of tasks to be accomplished through distance gardening. Tasks could be assigned in sections to keep everyone safe. Rosemount and Springmount gardening cleanup will take place on Saturday October 24th. Mary Anne will check with Florence Watts to see when the daffodil bulbs will be available for planting.

  • Report on summer work at Mount Royal bump-out

Mary Anne will follow up with the neighbours who have expressed interest in contributing to keeping the bump-out in shape. Mary Anne proposed that some of the bulbs could be planted there. The planting done on Mount Royal had a big impact on beautifying the area.

  • Street cleaning and pothole repair

John Keating reported that the request to fill potholes on Springmount was promptly filled earlier this summer and thanked the Councillor, through Nicholas, for a swift response to that matter.

There has been some street cleaning in the neighbourhood. Cars need to be moved to further facilitate street cleaning.

Linda DeGiorgio noted that the Bike Share rack installed on Davenport near Oakwood left a gap between the rack and the curb. This has filled up with garbage, dirt and weeds. She asked that the city make a point of cleaning the spaces behind the racks. John will send a note to the Councillor’s office with this request.

5 – Community Welcome Project (Harry Lay)

Item deferred.

6 – Finances

Linda reported that there is little change. A disbursement of $128 was made to John Keating for maple syrup supplies.

 September 2020
Operating Fund$ 5,817.25
Heritage Fund$    276.00
Street Sale Fund$   192.00
Petty Cash$     48.35
TOTAL$ 6,333.60

7 – Other business

Abacus at the top of the Dick Watts Steps

  1. Dave reported the abacus at the top of the Rosemount steps had been rebuilt and reinstalled with the help of Harry Lay. Harry expressed appreciation for Dave’s efforts.
  • Dave presented the idea that the RHRA could sell sandwich boards with traffic-calming messages for $10 a pair to any resident who would like to have a sign on their sidewalk or lawn. Dave will deliver them to any household. Peter will set this option up on the PayPal link on the RHRA website.

Meeting adjourned at 8:53pm

Next meeting: Tuesday October 20, 7 pm,