Hope this post finds you all well. It has truly been difficult for me not to have RRA meetings and special forums as we did prior to COVID. There are very clear signs that we are getting closer to normalcy and being able to actually meet face to face and not via zoom.
On a personal note, I have decided to put my name forward for the Trustee vacancy which was unfortunately created by the death of Mr. Roli Caccioni, who as most of us know was an incredibly honourable and talented man. He along with his wife Mary were long time members of our Rutland Residents Association.
For those of you that are not aware of my background, I have been a teacher in Kelowna for over 35 years. I have taught the full gamut from Elementary, Middle school and High School as well as a seven year stint teaching Intermediate French Immersion.
I, along with my wife Linda, have three adult children as well as two young grandchildren with a third on the way within the week. We have lived in Rutland since 1983 and have been very active in the community.
I am in the process of getting my website up and running and it will be ready by this Monday.
I hope to receive your support and vote on June 26th.
Peter Pagliocchini (President of the Rutland Residents Association)
- Dear Members March 22/2021
Hope that you are holding up during this topsy-turvy time and that the roll out of the vaccines will bring the days of ‘normalcy’ back soon.
During our long stretch since our last in person meeting, your executive is still actively working on behalf of our Rutland association and the community for which the RRA serves.
Here are some highlights:
- In early February our Association’s Vice President and Secretary were invited by the CMHA officials to tour McCurdy Place. Both Lynn and Sharlene were impressed with the facility and with the candid answers that were given to their questions pertaining to general safety, programs, staffing and the like. It should be noted that I will be representing the RRA on the McCurdy Place Community Advisory Council. I participated in their first CAC meeting on March 8th via zoom. We will continue to ensure that promises made will be kept.
Here is the link to the McCurdy Place brochure: mccurdy_place_one_page-cmha
- Community Policing Meeting: On February 24th, Lynn Jack and I attended a meeting with Kevin MacDougall the Community Policing Coordinator and Corporal Mike Kube the Kelowna RCMP Community Safety Unit.
-A planned increase for bicycle patrols for Rutland “hotspots” this spring
-Continued action on problem Rutland Residences including Kelowna RCMP Search Warrants recently executed and continued collaborative work with the Problem Property Compliance Team were noted
-Police allocation is stats driven, so continue to report and to obtain file numbers
-Re-instituting Rutland Community Policing… when covid protocols have been considerably eased, regular patrolling will restart
- Kelowna Neighbourhood Associations Liaison Committee (KNALC)
This “umbrella group” will be made up of representatives from all of the Kelowna neighbourhood associations. In a nutshell, it will provide a forum for our residents associations to review issues of common concern. The underlying premise is that there is strength in unity. The organization is well organized with a clear delineation of its mandate, structure and general governance. It provides for regular meetings via zoom and agenda items that are generated by the associations will be discussed, followed by plans for action.
Our executive has thought it prudent to be part of the KNALC in order to be included in any decisions that this organization implements. We do not want to be left out of the loop. However, we are cautious in that our autonomy to act in the best interests of our Rutland Community will not be compromised or overridden. So, we will be approaching our membership in this umbrella group with cautious optimism.
Fund Raising: Tee shirts anyone? Our secretary Sharlene Drohomereski and Christopher Bocskei, one of our board member,s have been working on various fund raising initiatives. They decided and it was approved by the executive to have a prototype t-shirt made advertising our association and the Rutland Community.
Peter Pagliocchini President Rutland Residents Association
Dear RRA members and non members
The year 2020 will be forever known as the year of the global COVID pandemic which has brought fatalities and economic devastation to all segments of our global community. Thankfully, the news of vaccines with purported high rates of efficacy are expected to be delivered to Canadians by the first quarter of 2021. This is certainly the best news that we have had in a long while.
Although the year has been extremely trying, there have been examples of people thinking beyond just themselves and have demonstrated complete selflessness in helping others. We only have to look at our heroic segment of society known as first responders and front line health care workers who have constantly put themselves at risk to ensure that people in medical distress are given the care that they need. These people inspire the rest of us to try to do more to also be of service during these very troubling times.
As for our Association, we are looking optimistically to 2021 and will continue to dedicate ourselves to working as both a sounding board and an advocate for our Rutland Community. As a long time resident of Rutland, I am very proud of the community and that we as Rutlanders are second to no one.
Best wishes to all for Christmas and for the New Year
Peter Pagliocchini President: Rutland Residents Association
Dear RRA members, August 29th, 2020
Thanks to all of you who took the time to attend our June 29th meeting. It was great to see you after such a long hiatus.
It’s nice to see that we are into phase 3 of the Corona-virus Protocol. Many of the restrictions have been eased and businesses and schools are reopening. This does not mean that we are completely out of the woods yet, but with continued vigilance we are getting closer to “normal.”
At our June 29th meeting many issues were discussed; these included, low barrier housing and their effect on our neighbourhoods, a modern middle school to replace RMS, the final phase for Centennial Park, as well as strategies that will keep our organization fiscally viable and a loud voice for Rutland residents. One strategy to keep us financially strong includes a Gaming fund raising initiative that will hopefully soon be actualized. We have the framework which includes a fully bona fide Gaming Account and License, but are in need of experienced volunteers to help get this operational.
As for Rutland Middle School, the Education Ministry has now changed the focus from refurbishing the 70 plus year old school to that of building a new school from the ground up. Their reasoning was a logical one, which first and foremost included the massive expenditure that would be incurred for retrofitting the existing structure as opposed to building new. Unfortunately, no date for building the new school was set and we can only hope that it will be started soon.
Our organization received some great news concerning Centennial Park. The City is into the fourth and final construction phase for the park. The final phase includes new fencing, BATHROOMS, and possibly a sidewalk upgrade along McIntosh Road. The completion date is slated for early 2021. The park improvement price tag is close to 2.6 million dollars.
Another note of interest is a meeting in mid September with Darren Caul, Community Safety Director, Ken Hunter, the Chair of Property Standards Compliance Team (PCST), representatives from the City, and representatives with the RCMP. The meeting was spearheaded by our executive to discuss problem properties on Springfield, Mills, Sylvania, and recently one a few blocks from the McCurdy facility. The fact that we obtained this meeting is a tribute to our organization’s ability to act in an open and fair manner that serves to enhance communication and be listened to by the by civic authorities.
Our Rutland Community continues to grow as new seniors, student and general residential starts are increasing exponentially. We invite Rutlanders to keep us informed as to the the impact, both good and bad, that these developments are having. Let us be the organization that will bring concerns to City officials and hopefully get them resolved.
Our next meeting is on Monday, September 21st 6:30 at the Senior Centre. We are planning to have chairs well space out and all the necessary CO-VID protocol will be observed.
Looking forward to see you at our meeting. Please invite friends and neighbours as well.
President: Rutland Residents Association
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
Peter Pagliocchini President Rutland Residents Association.
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Sharlene Drohomereski (Secretary) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (for membership forms).
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