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.