Saturna Island Property Owners Association
PO Box 27, Saturna, British Columbia V0N 2Y0
June 7, 2011
CRD Director, Southern Gulf Islands
6610 Harbour Hill Drive.
Pender Island B.C., V0N 2M1
RE: Car Stop Program for Saturna
I am following up our previous conversations regarding the Car Stop Program. Although you have kindly forwarded our application to the CRD approvals process, I believe you previously asked that I provide all information related to the consultation activities the Saturna Island Property Owners Association (SIPOA), the Saturna Community Club (SCC) and Saturna Lions have undertaken with respect to the proposed Car Stop Program for Saturna.
In this regard, I am resending all the consultation notices SIPOA and SCC have posted with respect to the Car Stop Program. As I mentioned in our application, these notices were posted on the SIPOA group mail program, were sent to SCC members and were in the Scribbler. They were also posted on island bulletin boards.
More recently, and in part because of your concerns that we had not consulted enough, SIPOA discussed the Car Stop Program at its Annual General Meeting (May 28, 2011) and voted to approve the program. On June 6, 2011 the Saturna Community Club at its Quarterly Meeting voted to approve the program. Approximately twenty five people were at each meeting.
To further clarify any outstanding concerns you may have with respect to community input, support and/or types of concerns raised about the Car Stop Program, I have enclosing all the emails SIPOA and SCC have received in this regard and have indicated to which notice they respond. In total there are nine emails supporting it (including both Trustees) and four emails questioning the value of the Car Stop Program. All comments, pro or con, have been addressed in person, by email and in the second and third notice posted on SIPOA and in the Scribbler.
As for in-person comments, since the initial announcement in March members of the SIPOA board have had at least 7 phone calls from members supporting Car Stops and I personally have spoken to a number of people (while getting mail) who support the proposal. Dawn Wood tells me that after her first presentation at the Saturna Community Club (enclosed with the attached documents) she has received comments from islanders who support the proposal and from others who are really pleased that SIPOA and the Community Club are doing a joint project.
As to your concerns about how widely we have consulted, SIPOA has a membership of 210 property owners, about 45% of the property owners on the island, most of who are on SIPOA yahoo group mail. The Saturna Community Club has a membership of 162 individuals, many of whom live on the island full-time.
Further, the Saturna Lions Club at one of their April meetings discussed the viability of the car stop program and thought it would help local businesses, especially the B&B’s. They then agreed to provide volunteer labour and equipment to install the signs which is more than a savings to the program; it is a strong indication of their level of support. The Lions have a membership of 41 active members, most of who live full-time on the island.
As for the negative comments sent to you directly about the proposed car stop program, we acknowledge the absolute rights of individuals to raise concerns but we cannot comment because we have not seen them. And, as I am certain you will agree, unless SIPOA and our partners have access to this information we cannot be expected to respond to these concerns.
Finally, SIPOA is committed to providing conservation opportunities for Saturna islanders. The Car Stop Program is an innovative approach that promotes energy conservation but it is not our first conservation or community-based initiative. Last year, for example, working with our local plumber SIPOA offered a $50 rebate on the purchase of low flush toilets. There are now 25 more low flush toilets installed on the island, each saving four gallons of water with each flush. We are proud of our work in this regard and believe we have the support of the community to continue these types of initiatives.
And that is not all, several years ago, the idea of ride sharing as a conservation measure was tried on Saturna. At that time the Saturna Community Club paid for signs to be printed and papers were posted at the stores, etc where people could list when they were going off island and where, and those wanting a ride could record that and the day of their preferred departure. This idea came out of one of those round table discussion days at the Rec Centre which Bev Neff organized.
We trust this information provides you with the background you need for approval of the funds to bring the Car Stop Program to Saturna.
Susie Washington Smyth
Dawn Wood, Saturna Community Club
Saturna Lions Club