VALLEY VOICES RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
MINUTES OF THE 3RD ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Jansen Farm, Vernonville, September 10, 2006.
President's Welcome: Carol Hanley welcomed attendees and thanked everyone for coming. She expressed her disappointment at the low attendance.
2005 AGM Minutes: Revised wording for the Communications Report in the 2005 AGM Minutes: “Marg Mitro heads up the mailbox deliveries for VV with a dedicated group of volunteers. Margaret Jansen heads up the phone committee which is used when there are urgent matters. Again, a number of VV member volunteers work the phones.” MOTION/CARRIED: To approve the corrected minutes of the 2005 AGM
President's Report: Carol Hanley noted our successes so far. Thanks go to the BoD and the membership whom we have been able to count on, and to the Committees, noting our reliance on volunteers. Special thanks to Virginia MacLean who reduced her fees, and provided services pro bono. Carol noted that we couldn't have done it without this generosity. Thanks to Chuck Shook for his consistent attendance at Council meetings. Chuck has agreed to continue.
Carol reviewed the 2006 decisions by Council which VV appealed and which have led to our being a party at the OMB. The Jansens are also a party. Several VV members who signed at the prehearing can be participants, a designation giving them the right to speak at the hearing. Carol noted that the MNR wants the licence decision made at the OMB, an indication of our valid concerns. She cited three issues: rezoning, the easement decision, and the granting of the licence. VV has hired specific experts for research and presentation at the hearing. Virginia will speak for VV. Carol referred to the letter campaign requesting donations. Over $11,000 was received from 31 families and individuals. She hopes that the 60 plus who have not yet responded will come forward with support.
Financial Statement/ Audited Financial Statements: Susan Patterson. At March 31/06; VV year-end, income was $4,700 for the year, expenses $8,500, a bank balance of about $12,000. Margaret Jansen reported that since March 31, VV received about $11,000 in donations, and that the bank balance is $16,802.00. MOTIONS: 1) To receive the report of the Audited Financial Statements, and 2) to appoint John Lillico as auditor for 2006-2007: CARRIED
Fundraising Report: Alyson Butler. Three years of fundraising have netted $28,992. The annual yard sale has made over $3000. The annual golf tourney averages $2000. New this year is the cookbook, ready for Christmas gift-giving, with 250 recipes @ $20.00. Bev Dahmer, Carol Dempsey, and Marg Jansen led this initiative. T-shirts, CDs and No Pit signs are still available.
Communications Report : Carol Hanley reported that Marg Mitro and volunteers look after hand delivery to mailboxes. Marg Jansen leads the Phone Committee, and Doug Higgins e-mails newsletters. Let Doug know if you want to be added to the e-mail list or have changed your e-mail address. Kathie Lloyd will maintain our website although she no longer lives in the community. We need more, local communications, and we need volunteers to do news releases to get our message to the wider community of Port Hope and Cobourg.
Report on OMB hearing starting November 6, 2006, Grafton Town Hall: Virginia MacLean reported that three matters are being heard: the entire application for an aggregate license has been referred by the MNR to the OMB; the zoning by-law; and the Consent Application. As appellants, the onus is on us. There are 22 issues on our list. We've retained a hydrogeologist, a noise expert, and a planner, and have contacted a fourth expert.
Roger Nainby spoke about Rick Holt and Gravel Watch Ontario. Rick Holt will be a witness on our behalf at the hearing regarding the record of compliance in other aggregate operations.
The hearing is set for three weeks. A day is set for the public to speak. An evening session may be scheduled if needed. Virginia feels the hearing will probably not finish in three weeks because of the number of issues. If not finished, she is not sure when the continuation could occur.
There are two levels of status at the hearing - party status and participant status. A party has full rights to speak and cross-examine; a participant can give evidence but cannot cross-examine. Anyone wishing to be a participant must provide a point form outline of his/her evidence before October 2. Virginia has a list and will contact participants regarding their speaking for the VV side. Anyone not a party or participant can still appear and speak at the public hearing. Virginia read out the participants list.
OMB Costs: We have $16,802.00.
Margaret Walton - planner - $7,000 for preparation and evidence
Garry Hunter - hydrogeologist - $8,000 for preparation and evidence
Ralph Bouwmeister - acoustic engineer - $9,000
Mike Michalski - biologist - $1500 for his opinion, $5,500 in total if he proceeds
Virginia MacLean - $8,000 - remainder of her fees
After calculations of expected revenue from the golf tourney, cookbooks, and pledges, we need $5,000 more by November 30, and at least $4,000 more if the hearing goes beyond November.
Membership Renewal: Carol Hanley stated that members who have already donated in the letter campaign would be considered renewed. MOTION: The AGM endorses renewal of the membership fee in the amount of $25.00 per individual or $50.00 per family: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY. Implemention requires a Membership Committee to contact renewal and new members, and plan a fundraising event. The BoD strategy should include a letter of information plus personal contact as follow-up.
Board of Directors Elections: Conducted by Chuck Shook. Margaret Jansen, John Webster, Carol Hanley and Mark Towers will finish their two year term. Nominated for the remaining positions were Roger Nainby, Richard Homme, and Bob Garthson. Roger Nainby, Richard Homme and Bob Garthson were acclaimed as Directors. The two new Directors, Roger and Richard, backgrounded their connections to Shelter Valley and their commitment to Valley Voices.
Election of a President: Carol Hanley accepted the position.
Other Business: Roger Nainby spoke on assessment appeals. According to Gravel Watch, http://www.gravelwatch.org/orig-gw/misc/061017-flyer-03.htm, some success has been garnered with politicians by appealing assessments on the basis that property values had fallen as a result of a proposed pit. Roger reviewed the assessment appeal process suggesting that VV organize a mass appeal. The BoD will prepare a package for VV residents, coordinate the documentation and copy it to Council. MOTION: the AGM supports action by the BoD to organize a mass appeal of assessments: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Chuck Shook reported on Council information including discussion of candidates for the upcoming municipal election. The deadline for nominations is September 29th.
Margaret Jansen announced that she is resigning from the Phone Committee and Membership Committee. She requested volunteers for these committees.
If you wish to be removed from our e-mail list, contact Carol Hanley. email@example.com It would help VV plan its strategies if you told her why you wish to be removed.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
VV has joined Gravel Watch Ontario (GWO), an association of community groups who are monitoring Ontario’s policies re aggregate pits. It is led by Ric Holt, University of Waterloo. The next Gravel Watch Ontario Open Meeting features Gord Miller, Environmental Commissioner, speaking on the state of Ontario's environment, with concerns about aggregates. The public meeting is set for Tuesday 17 Oct 2006, 6:45pm, Puslinch Community Centre.
If you "google" Gravel Watch you will see just how big a deal GWO has become. It pops up as #1. Ric Holt has offered to testify on our behalf at the OMB Hearings.
APPEALING YOUR MPAC PROPERTY ASSESSMENT
Roger Nainby is willing to research the effects of SVA’s proposal on property values in the community. He needs your help.You can complain about your 2006 Assessment until December 31, 2006, but you can't appeal unless you did so if your concerns were not resolved by MPAC by June 30, 2006 (special extension for 2006). So we could still submit en masse complaints for 2006 before Dec 31, preferably well before the November election so it would be an election issue.
Tell Roger if you know of properties in the area of the pit that have come on the market and (a) received very few offers or (b) sold for much less than list or assessed value or (c) suffered tangibly or intangibly from some aspect of SVA.
Do you know any real estate agents in the area? It’d be interesting to hear what they say when prospective buyers ask about SVA.
We need to collect "ammunition". Please let Roger know what you know or can find out. This year we can make this into a political issue and, who knows, MPAC may even do something. They will certainly have to take it seriously if enough people complain. Next year we can do it all again and also appeal if there is no MPAC action by March 31, 2007.