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