RRA The Beat Goes On

Dear RRA Members:                                                    February 15, 2020

Two thousand and twenty started off with our Annual General Meeting and true to form the meeting was sparsely attended due to a major fear, that of  being appointed or nominated to an executive position.  Fortunately, those that were in attendance, were treated to a celebratory cake  and refreshments following the meeting. The after meeting goodies were in acknowledgement of Evelyn and John Vielvoye for their multi years of service on our Rutland executive. At our December meeting Evelyn announced that she was retiring from being  our Treasurer. At our AGM she was congratulated for all of the budget reports and year end audited reports  that she did for well over 15 years.  John was acknowledged  for his long time service as  President and Vice President of our Association.  Both were awarded honorary memberships and have assured us that they will continue to come to our meetings.

At the meeting, we  also welcomed three new members to our executive, these were Lynn S as our new Treasurer, Christopher B, and Roxanne C are two new Directors at Large joining our other directors.

Our Association continues to focus on two contentious issues that to date remain unresolved for our Rutland residents.  Specifically, Rutland Middle School and the continuation of Low Barrier builds in our Rutland neighbourhoods. As most of you are aware we have had countless meetings with elected civic officials and have hosted many forums concerning these two critical issues.

One promising avenue to help mitigate the low barrier housing issue centred around arbitration from our provincial Ombudsperson office. It was hoped that the Ombudsperson would actively address neighbourhood concerns regarding crime and vandalism due to their  proximity to low barrier housing units.  Our thanks go out to Lorelei S for taking the leadership role in this application.

Recently Lynn J our vice president and myself sat down with Darren Caul, the Director for Public Safety in Kelowna.  We had a very frank discussion concerning the issue of crime and vandalism incidents that continue to occur in neighbourhoods and businesses close to these low barrier units.  We particularly referenced  both Heath and Hearthstone and the extreme difficulties that neighbours and commercial establishments  are dealing with on an ongoing basis.  We also spoke about the McIntosh Road Low Barrier build and  suggested  to Darren that data concerning present rates of crime in the McIntosh area be documented prior to the completion of the build.  Then, post build when residents are housed, a new set of documentation be recorded regarding crime and vandalism rates post build.  We argued that this strategy  should serve to provide clear and empirical statistics giving a true picture of the impact or lack of impact that this build well have on the neighbourhood. Darren seemed amiable to this request.

Mr. Caul has also agreed to do a presentation and to answer both questions that have been given to him in advance as well as general questions from the audience regarding  public safety in our Rutland area.  Both Lynn and I have found Mr. Caul to be an honest and forthright person and are extremely happy that he will be listening to our concerns. Mr. Caul’s presentation will be on March 9th from 6:30 to 8:00 at the Rutland Senior Centre located at 50 Gray Road across from the Salvation Army.

One final note, Lynn and I will be attending a meeting with both Ms. Turner, the Director of Canadian Mental Health, and Mike Gawliuk, the Director of Service Delivery and Innovation for the CMA.. Our meeting will be held on the the 18th to discuss, among other things, the  residents rental agreement template that the CMA uses for the Low Barrier Housing units.

Hope to see you all at our upcoming meeting on Monday February 17th at 6:30

Best regards

Peter Pagliocchini  President Rutland Residents Association.

 

Our Year In Review at the RRA

 

Dear members and soon to be members:

To say that it has been a very busy year would be an understatement.

On January 17th of this year, we had our Annual General Meeting in which we got some new faces on our executive.   My thanks to those who had served on the executive for their hard work during their tenure.   I would particularly like to  thank John Vielvoye for his many contributions as our former President and for his continued commitment to the RRA.  Also,  I would be remiss if I did not thank our secretary, Sharlene Drohomereski, our Vice President Lynn Jack and our Treasurer Evelyn Vielvoye for their continued work to keep our organization running smoothly.  Our association has an amazing group of members that can be counted on to volunteer their time and energy at a moments notice.  To all of you I am very thankful for your continued commitment and good will.

Two thousand nineteen has seen our membership increase from 18 to 48 members thanks to our stronger involvement and leadership roles  in  critical issues that  face our Rutland community.  We reached out and brought in people that were adversely effected  by their proximity to low barrier housing and needed to have a voice for the severe challenges that they and their neighbours are  facing.  Our association  also collaborated with other organisations such as Rutland For Safe Neighbourhoods who did strong work in spotlighting the problems that the proliferation of low barrier housing is bringing to our community.   They  managed to successfully launch and complete a 14000 plus petition which targeted the low barrier housing at 130 Mccurdy Road.   Last week this petition was presented to our Legislature by our MLA Norman Letnick. Unfortunately, this massive petition was ignored by the government and summarily dismissed.

This year we had a record number of special presentations and forums, that served to both inform as well as give members of our community a chance to ask questions and make comments directly to  presenters that were brought into our  meetings.

Our first forum of this year  invited the key players for BC Housing Coordinated Assessment and Access For Supportive Housing:  The March Forum featured guest speakers Ann Howard, Regional Director for BC Housing and Dawn Himer, Director for the John Howard Society.  Unfortunately,  though informative, it had extremely poor attendance. This would have been an opportunity for the Rutland community to ask questions as well as provide the real life consequences that the proliferation these projects are having in our community.

Centennial Park has been an ongoing issue.  Our association has contacted Kelowna Council concerning the lack of actual fully equipped washrooms in this beautiful park.  After constant requests to expedite the building of washrooms that would  replace the pit toilets, we were once again rejected.  We were informed that 2022 will be the date that said washrooms  will be installed. Apparently, pit toilets are good enough for our area and that is that.

Low Barrier Housing Forum was held on September 14th and unlike our previous forum was extremely well attended. Our guest speakers included our very own Sharlene Drohomereski and Audra Boudreau, the then President of the Rutland For Safe Neighbourhoods.  Following the presentations the audience asked questions and made personal observations.  The audience members were also asked to fill out and return a questionnaire that focused on specific action(s) you would like the RRA take as a result of  this Town Hall Meeting. The following were the general responses  to this  question:

– connect with other resident’s associations in Kelowna and in other cities that have similar problems.

-have more involvement with the media.

-file complaint with the Ombudsperson regarding the impact low barrier housing is having in our community’s neighbourhoods.

-keep the pressure on, continue to communicate with our local, municipal and even our federal representatives.

All in all, the RRA has been doing all of the above and will continue to keep this issue front and centre.

Rutland Middle School Forum was held on November 25th and the featured guests included trustees Norah Bowman and Rolli Cacchioni as well as Rutland Middle School PAC President Marie Howell and COPAC rep Paula Morrison.  The Forum also had a press reporter from our local Capitol News.  The session gave us a clearer picture as to the strategies that have already been employed  by the school board and other stake holders including RRA’s  role to get the new RMS on stream.  Each strategy has been thus far met with rejection from the Ministry of Education.  The one concession that was made by the Ministry was to finally, after 70 years put washrooms on the second floor.  It still lacks accessibility for students with mobility issues. To me, this spoke volumes as to level of importance our school was given. Our one glimmer of hope rests in a possible 20 million dollars set aside for an addition to the existing RMS. Once again, the RRA will continue to advocate and collaborate with other groups and organisations wanting to see a new RMS soon.

As one can see, a lot has and is happening in our community.  We as an organization want to be one of the many organisational voices standing up for our Rutland community. I invite Rutlanders to join us and bring your expertise and knowledge to help us address critical issues and the constant double standarism that seems to be placed on the residents of our community.

All the best to all for a peaceful Christmas and a great 2020.

Peter Pagliocchini: Rutland Residents Association President

 

 

 

Rutland Residents Association: Updates

 

Dear Rutland Residents                                                                           June 19, 2019

Hope everyone is enjoying the great weather and for those of you that hate hot weather my condolences.

 

Since our AGM in January, our association has  worked on several important issues that are both ongoing and new.  The two top issues are:- the building of a new Rutland Middle School and- a stronger input and consultation channel between our Rutland community and Council concerning new development in our area. 

RMS:  For over 20 years a new RMS has been at the top of the priority list for Capital cost projects with SD 23.  However, irrespective of the dire need for a new  school,  the go ahead for construction is perpetually bypassed while other areas in our district have received  the necessary funding for new middle school builds. The most recent new middle schools include, H.S. Grenda Middle School for  Lake Country and Canyon Falls Junior Middle School in the Mission area. Our association will host a meeting between two school trustees and the executive of the  PAC groups in the RMS catchment area. This meeting will provide these two stake holders to come up with more effective strategies to bring a fully modern RMS into fruition.  At this point, the building is getting a washroom  on the second floor, this small token is indeed small compensation compared to a new build.

 

Projects on Hyper Drive:  Rutland has seen an extraordinary amount of growth  that are,  in some cases,  pushed through in an inordinately quick manner. A number of these builds have garnered a good deal of criticism.   For example, Rutland has a disproportionate number of low barrier Supportive Housing builds when compared to other areas of Kelowna and there are more scheduled to come on stream.

Continuing the vein of supportive housing, our organization has had small forums in which the public has been invited to listen to the major groups involved in some of these more controversial builds to field questions regarding these projects. To this end,  at our March meeting we invited and were fortunate enough to have in attendance the Regional Director for BC Housing, the Coordinator for BC Housing and a Director for the John Howard Society.  These guest speakers spoke to the rational behind these Supportive Housing projects and answered questions and concerns regarding the number of projects in Rutland as well as the vetting process used for people that will be offered units in these complexes.  Many of our members voiced concerns regarding  safety issues for the surrounding neighbourhoods where these low barrier supportive housing  units will be built.

The Rutland Residents Association continues to bring issues ranging from development to crime and safety to the attention of our Municipal Council.  Although, we are small in terms of membership, we have been effective in terms of spotlighting major issues in the Rutland community for the past 25 years.

Hopefully, we can grow our membership to give us the capability of being even more effective in serving our Rutland Community.

Peter Pagliocchini (President Rutland Residents Association)

Email: info@rutlandresidentsassociation.ca or ppaglioc@hotmail.com

OR

Sharlene Drohomereski (Secretary) Email: secretary@rutlandresidentsassociationassociation.ca  (for membership forms).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rutland Residents Association: Issues and Events of 2018

On behalf of the Rutland Residents Association I would like wish one and all a happy and healthy 2019.

The year started out with our annual AGM on January 18th 2018. This marked  our 24th AGM for our organization. At this meeting, our President John Vielvoye announced that he would not be seeking re-election.  For many years John has been an integral mainstay in our organization and it was sad to see him leave.

February, our organization was involved in seeking further details regarding two major residential projects in Rutland. First was a 94 unit construction for student housing at McIntosh and Dougal. I along with John met with Terry Barton and Trisa Atwood at City Hall.  Following our discussions, we pointed out a few cosmetic changes, but overall the project seemed well planned.  The second involved a 36 townhouses being built off of Rutland Road and we did convey our concerns to Terry and Trisa regarding the drab concrete design, the absence of visitor parking, as well as other parking and traffic flow challenges.  Another important event included our  participation in Heritage Week that began on February 19th with the RRA hosting a breakfast at the Kelowna Library.  Evelyn Vielvoye put together a photographic and poster display depicting Kelowna “Then and Now.”

 

March, we were very active in corresponding with Mayor Basran regarding the delays concerning phase completions with the Centennial Park Project.  Our organization strongly feels that this park will be a centre piece for our community members both young and old. It should be noted, that phases 3 and 4 are still  on hold and we still do not have proper washroom facilities on site.  We will continue to focus on this issue.

April, included some technology highlights for our organization.  Though  we had a fairly strong Facebook presence, our official website was in  a state of disrepair. This was the case until  Lynn Jack decided to bring it back virtual life and made it very user friendly.  She was also strongly instrumental in providing our organisation with a blog site that has been up and running since May.

May:  No meeting;

June, focus was on the continuing saga  for a new Rutland Middle School. The inaction on the part of our Board and the Ministry of Education for the pat 17 years has reached the realm of total absurdity. Our association sent two letters to the Board along with a  personal representation at the May School Board meeting. This was followed up with another letter sent directly to  Education  Minister Rob Fleming.

July: No Meeting

August, we had a special ad hoc planning meeting for our All Candidates Forum which was held  on October 2, 2018.

September, our focus was taken up with working through a 20 point check list which included task assignments to complete prior to our Forum event. It was a huge undertaking which could not have been done without the support and volunteers within our association.  It should also be noted that the Rutland Park Society generously donated the venue for the event and URBA provided some logistical support as well as a First Aid attendant.

October 2, 2018, our All Candidates Forum got underway. We had excellent attendance from the various candidates.  All four mayoral candidates, 20 of the 21 council candidates and all 10  of the school board candidates.  Excellent attendance from the public  despite  the lack of good access parking due to the Shepherd Road construction.  I was particularly impressed with our Rutland partner associations which included the Rutland Park Society and URBA for their help and strong spirit of collegiality.  Once again, our members went above and beyond to make this rather large undertaking a great success.

November, our membership voted to have me write a letter to  Mayor and Council in support of the Okanagan Centre for Sport which is proposed to be constructed on the present site of the change rooms and washrooms at the Rutland Sports Fields.

 

Looking forward to a new and  productive year for our association.

Peter Pagliocchini  President: Rutland Residents Association

 

 

 

 

 

CIVIC ELECTION 2018: All candidates forum planned for Rutland

The Rutland Residents Association will host a public forum for the upcoming Kelowna civic election candidates on October 2, Tuesday at 7 p.m., at the Rutland Centennial Hall.

The format for the forum will be a general assembly where each mayor, council and school board candidate will be set up at a designated area within the hall.

The public will be able to meet each candidate on a personal level, with each candidate set up at their own table to answer questions.

A handout will be offered to everyone in attendance with a list of items that have been raised as significant to Kelowna and specifically Rutland.

The residents association hopes the list will help facilitate discussion between the public and the various candidates.

Please note that our association hosted this type of forum in 2014. The forum had a total of 46 candidates for city council, mayor and school board in attendance.  The attendance at this forum was phenomenal and the candidates appreciated the one on one format.

The Centennial Hall is located at 180 Rutland Road North.

Hope to see you there.

Contact email to book a table at the forum: secretary@rutlandresidentsassociation.ca

 

 

 

Rutland Middle School: The Saga of Inequity Continues

 

June 9, 2018

Dear Readers

The Rutland Residents Association continues to lobby School District 23 to take the necessary steps to facilitate the construction of a new Rutland Middle School.  The RMS rebuild has been talked about for well over 20 years. Study after study shows that there exists a chronic need for this to happen yet to this day the only thing that the Board has produced is continued lip service and absolutely no action.   The building is close to 70 years old and it is looking every bit of its age.  Over the past years it has been placed on a priority list for a rebuild, however, it continues to be passed over and put on the proverbial back burner.

 

There seemed to be a glimmer of hope this past year, yet, once again sufficient funding could not be found. So our School Board looked at other alternatives, which included moving RMS to the existing Quigley Elementary site.   This plan involved uprooting present Quigley students and placing them in various other elementary schools in the area.  This is one of only a handful of areas in our district that such an educationally disruptive plan to young students would ever have been entertained.  Yet other parts of SD 23 have had enormous rebuilds, new schools and even a new middle school is presently on the schedule. I realize that there are several mitigating factors that place one areas needs over another.  However, I find it hard to believe that RMS has yet to meet the threshold that would make a new Rutland Middle School a reality. In the meantime, RMS continues to exist in sub-par conditions, including no washroom facilities on the second floor.

 

Our School Board needs to be consistent and even-handed when funding for builds and upgrades are being allocated. Every student in this district needs to have learning environments that are equal in terms of modernity and functionality. I sincerely hope that I am wrong, but the discrepancies that currently exist appear to be correlated to one’s postal code and thus totally unacceptable and contrary to the basic philosophy of public education. The Rutland Residents Association strongly urge the members of the School Board to address these inequities and commit adequate funding to bring the long overdue rebuild of RMS into fruition.

 

Sincerely

Peter Pagliocchini

President of the Rutland Residents Association

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Call For Membership In the Rutland Residents Association

 

 RUTLAND RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION

Peter Pagliocchini                                               May 17, 2018

President

 

 

Dear Rutland Residents (A call to join our Rutland Resident’s Association)

My name is Peter Pagliocchini and I am the President of the Rutland Residents Association.

The 59th annual Rutland May Days are this weekend and I hope that many of you will be partaking of the fun and family oriented festivities.

The Rutland May Days in its current format began in May of 1959.  It continues to this day richer and more vital than ever.  The tried and true format of pancake breakfasts put on by the Knights of Columbus, a multi float parade, midway, merchants and artisans selling their wares, beer gardens and   live entertainment continues to be the main formula for its success.

The growth of the Rutland May Days is closely paralleled with the strong urban growth and development in our very own Rutland community. However, as we know, growth is not always benevolent, there are times that its impact on sectors of our community are not deemed beneficial and can cause angst and controversy.

The Rutland Residents Association was chartered in 1994 and one of its prime objective was to provide information to Rutland residents regarding development projects and infrastructure constructs that were being proposed by City Council. Some of which proved to be of great concern to affected sectors of our community.   Members of our executive have brought these concerns directly to city planners and to the attention of various mayors and council members over the past 24 years.  This main objective continues to this day.

Presently, we are strongly lobbying the City of Kelowna to expedite the completion date for the Rutland Centennial Park. As an association we feel that a revitalised Centennial Park will be a centre piece for our community and a recreational and social gathering point. We feel that continuing to postpone final phase completion date is totally unacceptable.

It should be noted that there are over 110 projects slated for this year in our Rutland community. Many projects have already been ratified by Council, but a portion remain open for public debate and general scrutiny by residents in the vicinity of these proposed project areas.  Our association has and will continue to provide both a voice and fact gathering forum for our residents. Once gathered, this info will be brought directly to the Mayor and Council.

Historically, the RRA has been the driving force for the Lions Park located in our centre core.  Our association, working in concert with Kelowna City Council along with business donor groups brought the Park into fruition.

In 2014, the RRA hosted an ‘All Candidates Forum’ just prior to the November municipal election. The forum was extremely well attended by those running for School Board as well as Council and Mayoral candidates.  On October 2, 2018, we will once again host an ‘All Candidates Forum’ and give residents a chance to meet and question those running in the upcoming election.

 

I am extending an invitation to attend our meetings on the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm at the Rutland Centennial Hall.  We welcome your input and strongly urge you to become a member of our Association and give effective voice to present and future projects in our community.

For further questions, please email me at info@rutandresidentsassociation.ca

Sincerely

Pagliocchini (President of the Rutland Residents Association)