SIRRA May 28, 2016 AGM Final Minutes Approved at 2017 AGM 1
Saturna Island Ratepayers and Residents Association
2016 Annual General Meeting
Date: May 28, 2016
Location: Saturna Recreation and Cultural Center Lounge
Board Members Present: Joan Hoskinson, Ron Hall, Michael Fry, Ingrid Gaines, Jeanne
Crerar, Bill Schermbrucker
Regrets: Valerie McMillan, Dian Johnston
Absent: Ryan Dentry
Twenty members and guests were present
1. Call to order at 10:35 am by pro-tem President Joan Hoskinson
2. Approval of Agenda
There were changes to the order of items as follows: change item 4 to Officers Reports
and move Nominations Committee report to 6.8, prior to the election, if required.
Agenda was approved with noted amendments.
3. Approval of Minutes of 2015 AGM
Approved and filed.
4. Officers Reports
4.1 President’s Report - Joan Hoskinson, President pro tem, presented her
report (attached) which was received and filed.
4.2 Treasurer's Report - Ron Hall circulated his report (attached) which covered
the period from May 31, 2015 AGM to the present time. Received and filed.
5. Guest Speaker : Martin Wale
Because of technical difficulties with electronics, Dr Wale's presentation was
delayed so the business of the meeting continued. His presentation followed the
business of the AGM.
6. Committee Reports
6.1 Membership Report
This report (attached) was presented by Ron Hall in Valerie McMillan's absence.
At May 2016 there were 204 members in good standing and 20 in arrears..
One member commented that Mayne Island with a much larger population has a
similar organization with 80 or 90 members. Commendations to Val for her work
in promoting membership in SIRRA.
Membership committee report was received and filed
SIRRA May 28, 2016 AGM Final Minutes Approved at 2017 AGM 2
6.2 Membership Survey Report
Bill Schermbrucker reported on the survey which asked members to rank issues they thought SIRRA should focus on in the coming year. The survey was done using Survey Monkey with 39 responses. Issues identified in order of priority, top four were ferry services, roads, property taxes & health services followed by water, bylaw changes, alternative energy options and website satisfaction. Bill acknowledged committee members Michael Fry and Jeanne Crerar. Several specific comments were presented. The report was received and filed.
6.3 Communications Report
In Dian Johnstone's absence, Joan Hoskinson read her report (attached). Dian submitted her resignation from the SIRRA Board due to due to heavy demands of organizing the Lamb BBQ. Report was filed.
6.4 Health Committee Report - Jeanne Crerar
Report was presented by Jeanne Crerar (attached) , following which it was filed.
6.5 Roads Report - Michael Fry
Report was presented by Michael with a special thank you to Pat Ropars for his work in maintaining our roads on a year round basis. Harris Road remains a significant challenge . Bill S submitted an article on this issue to the June Scribbler. Acknowledgment was given to recognize the work of Susie Washington Smyth in regard to Saturna Road Issues. Report was received and filed.
6.6 Ferries Report - Eva Hage
Eva Hage presented her report with good news that the summer schedule will have a Swartz Bay to Saturna sailing at 3:15 pm. Various other elements (positive, negative and neutral) were noted in more detail (attached). The summer schedule should be published in the next few weeks. Report was filed.
Kudos to Eva, Michelle and Brian Hollingshead for their liaison with BC Ferries.
6.7 Tax Committee Report - Joan Hoskinson
Joan presented her report. One point noted was that it is possible to pay rural taxes on a monthly basis. A full report of this will be in the summer Scribbler as well as on various sites on line. Susie Washington Smyth will post the link detailing the process for tax deferral. The report was received and filed.
6.8 Nominations Committee - Ron Hall
One resignation was received and 3 people are leaving the end of their terms: Ingrid, Val and Calls for other nominations were made three times. No further nominations were received.
7. Election / Nominations
Three members put their names forward for the 2016 Board of SIRRA. Elected by acclamation were Tom Johnstone, David Osborne and Susie Washington Smyth
SIRRA May 28, 2016 AGM Final Minutes Approved at 2017 AGM 3
8. New Business
8.1 Solar Project Announcement
David Osborne described a working group attempting to bring more solar power to Saturna. Next meeting will be June 5 at the Lighthouse Pub at 10:30am. An item describing the concept of Community Solar PV Power was in the May issue of the Scribbler.
8. 2 Proposed logging on First Nations Reserve lands
Susie Washington Smyth noted that she was recently informed of a plan to log the First Nations Reserve lands. She shared concerns regarding the potential damage to Saturna roads and would like to have this issues explored further. Lee Middleton stated that he has been invited to a consultation meeting with the local reserve bands to hear about their plans. Susie and Tom Johnston agreed to work on collecting more information for SIRRA as a basis for further discussion.
8.3 Roof top Sprinkler Information
Bill Schermbrucker has offered to do a demonstration of his rooftop sprinklers. He also recommended for members to Google rooftop sprinklers to see them in action during a fire..
9. Adjournment of AGM Business at 11:35 am.
Guest Speaker - Dr. Martin Wale
Bill Schermbrucker introduced Dr Martin Wale. His topic, Healthcare: View from a Small Island discussed the demographics of the South Gulf Islands, factors influencing health care service delivery and considerations for future evolution of health care service demands /care needs particularly related to frail elderly, mental health services and needs of rural communities.
At the election of officers last year, no candidate stepped forward to be President. I'd like to thank Val McMillan for stepping into the role on a temporary basis for the first half of the year. Then it was my turn, and that is how I happen to be here today.
Our membership survey identified four key areas of concern to our membership, and while tax issues dominated the executive committee's work in 2014, the major issue of 2015 became SIRRA's response to BC Ferries' proposed changes to scheduling and capacity. Roads also took a major role with the continued deterioration of Harris Road. We will hear from those committees later on, but I would like to recognize former presidents Eva Hage and Susie Washington-Smyth for their long hours of work, determination, and diplomatic persistence.
Our committee was pleased to approve funding for the purchase of portable helicopter
SIRRA May 28, 2016 AGM Final Minutes Approved at 2017 AGM 4
landing lights for Saturna Island Rescue. An article appeared in the Scribbler earlier this year. The lights will enable an emergency landing on the island other than at Winter Cove.
On behalf of the board, I'd like to say a special thanks to our invaluable Recording Secretary, Bev Lowsley , for her ongoing service to SIRRA.
Joan Hoskinson, President pro tem
SIRRA May 28, 2016 AGM Final Minutes Approved at 2017 AGM 5
SIRRA AGM Communications Report
In 2015/16 SIRRA continued to correspond and communicate on those issues of concern to local residents and ratepayers. Ferries. Roads and Health always top the list of the annual survey results and SIRRA communicated your concerns to the appropriate body with one voice.
Scribbler articles let those residents who do not subscribe to social media or internet know what was happening and SIRRA sends a general mail-out to all members on voting and other important issues.
Communication is a two way street and you are welcome to communicate with SIRRA. For information send an email to email@example.com or if you have an issue you would like all members to see, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and don't forget our calendar of events if you have an event you would like to publicize.
I am resigning from the SIRRA board due to the heavy demands of the Lamb BBQ but I will keep in touch and I wish the new Board members every success.
Health committee Report
In the 2014 members' survey, concerns with our health care services received much attention. That year a key health worker was retiring and the replacement was going slowly.
During 2015 and 2016, several staffing concerns have been addressed, Including the replacement of the volunteer clinic manager. The provision of clinic services on the island is the purview of the Community Club Health Services Committee, with the Emergency Medical Services and Fire Department
represented on that committee. The Better at Home project is also represented at the health committee meetings. An initiative is underway to investigate options for funding our health care on Saturna.
The business of the Health Services Committee is often confidential, but a public record of the minutes is available at the Saturna library.
SIRRA supports the Health Services Committee, when asked, by
writing letters of support for initiatives affecting our members.
The decision to find a guest speaker from the health sector, in
this case Dr. Wale who has a Saturna residence, reflects our
ongoing attention to the topic of Health Care.
Submitted to the Annual General Meeting of SIRRA, May 28,2016
SIRRA May 28, 2016 AGM Final Minutes Approved at 2017 AGM 6
Another difficult winter has seen our Road Foremen (Pat Ropars) spend long hours, days and nights keeping our roads clear of trees, branches & debris and safe by plowing and salting when necessary. I feel we owe a big thank you to Pat for his fine efforts.
Spring has resulted in not only continuing cleanup but ditching, pot hole filling and roadside brush cutting all over the island, most recently on Tumbo Channel, Cliffside, Harris and Trueworthy Roads (except for Boot Cove Road). A chip seal truck has been working on many of our unpaved roads and oil has been applied for the dust. Black topping has recently been completed on East Point Road near the Money farms.
Finally, the safety of Harris Road continues to be a huge concern and some progress is being made. The RCMP have declared the road hazardous and unsafe and Todd, the Ministry of Transportation the same. There is a very good article in the June Scribbler written by Bill Schermbrucker updating the current status of the road and is well worth reading. Our own Susie Washington Smyth continues to be a strong advocate for all our roads and I would like to commend her for her efforts.
Roads continue to be one of the top concerns for our island residents and visitors and SIRRA is committed to continue to make our roads safe. Thank you.
BC Ferries has now completed new schedules for when the new vessels go into service on Route 9, which is believed to be in April 2017.
The new schedules are very similar to existing Routes 5 and 9 schedules with some exceptions. There are both benefits and degradations to Saturna.
There is a 3:10 pm sailing from Swartz Bay to Saturna Mon-Thu all-year round. This is something we have asked for, for a long time and it gives residents more time in town and allows for a shorter through-fare from Vancouver.
We get a sailing from Saturna to Vancouver on Friday PM all year-round.
No more cancelled Wednesday sailings on Route 9 in the wintertime.
There are additional sailings on weekends in shoulder and peak seasons between Swartz Bay and Saturna.
BC Ferries is also embarking on a through-fare pilot project whereby they will facilitate travel through Swartz Bay. The first phase of the pilot deals only with travel from Vancouver to the Southern Gulf Islands, but we are hopeful we will see it applied to trips from the Southern Gulf Islands as well. Any vehicle going through-fare will get a special tag that will identify it as through-fare and will get loaded and off-loaded first to ensure that the connection can be made. Improved communications between vessels and terminal to ensure everyone
SIRRA May 28, 2016 AGM Final Minutes Approved at 2017 AGM 7
knows that there is through-fare traffic is also part of the project. I would advise anyone travelling through-fare to talk to the Steward on board the “big ferry” if it looks like you will have difficulty making your connection.
Longer travel time for a number of sailings. Some of it due to ensure more on-time performance, some due to changes in service.
The Friday night sailing from Vancouver in off-peak is much later 10:20 pm.
Sunday night sailing from Vancouver to Saturna that used to be about 2 hours on Route 9, now is a through-fare and +4 hours long.
The new vessels on Route 9 are smaller and will fill up faster. No doubt there will be a crunch on weekends, so reserve early!
In summary, we are pleased with the schedules. They could have been much, much worse. Although there are few benefits, at least these schedules will not kill our island.
Tax Committee report
After a busy year in 2014, the tax file was relatively quiet in 2015.
The committee did look into the issue of frequency of tax payments. Currently, rural taxes are due once a year in July. The Ministry of Provincial Revenue cannot set up automatic withdrawals from a bank accout as municipal governments are able to do. However, the Ministry will accept regular or ad hoc payments in advance of the annual due date. With online banking, this is easy to do on a monthly basis, making it as easy to budget property taxes as other payments such as telephone or hydro.
A full explanation and "how-to" will appear in the summer edition of the Scribbler.