March 1 Founding Meeting Notes

Chairman: Greg Hamara
Note-taker: Bernard Simon

1. Welcome & Opening Remarks

The meeting began at 7.40pm. The chairman welcomed everyone and gave a brief summary of activities since the public information meeting in November 2004. He noted that a steering committee had been set up to plan the association’s founding meeting. He thanked members of that committee for their work.

2.

Greetings from Ward 13 City Councillor Bill Saundercook

Councillor Saundercook welcomed the formation of the BWV Residents Association, and congratulated all those involved.


3. Motion to Adopt Proposed Boundaries

Boundaries of the Bloor West Village Residents Association will be: Bloor Street (south), Annette Street (north), Jane Street (west), Quebec Avenue (east).

The chairman outlined the work done by a sub-committee of the steering committee, set up to consider the association’s boundaries. The motion to be discussed was based on that sub-committee’s work. From the start, the boundaries issue had challenged all involved. In the steering committee’s view, the recommended co-ordinates best captured the community of common interest in Bloor West Village.

The chairman noted that all present would be entitled to vote on the motion. He then invited discussion.

Larry Hoffman asked why the eastern boundary would be as far east as Quebec Ave. Also, why the western boundary was not the Humber River. He expressed concern about excluding the large number of residents west of Jane Street.

The chairman said that the area east of Quebec Ave contained many multi-storey, high-density condo buildings. The interests of these residents were not necessarily the same as those of residents west of Quebec. The Jane-to-Humber area has had its own resident associations in the past. The Humber cinema development issue is a singular concern to these residents. Also, environmental issues are high on the agenda of residents west of Jane. On a practical level, there are limits to how much volunteers can be expected to contribute. Expanding the boundaries would add a lot more administrative work and push up costs.

Russ Pochmurski said that the Bloor West Village business association had set different boundaries from those proposed for the residents’ association.

Marshall Leslie suggested expanding the northern boundary to St John’s Road, conforming with the former municipal ward. Residents north of Annette Street use the institutions south of Annette, and do much of their shopping on Bloor Street.

The chairman replied that the problem was that St John’s Road ended at Clendenan Ave. How would that be linked with Quebec Ave without including a part of Dundas Street, which is part of the Junction residents’ association?

C Wong said it was misleading to refer to the association as “Bloor West Village”, and suggested that the name be changed. As commonly understood, Bloor West Village also includes Swansea. He was concerned how this ambiguity might impact the relationship between the two areas. As an alternative, he suggested that the mission statement be changed to reflect a relationship with neighbouring associations.

The chairman replied that part of the association’s mission would be to work with neighbouring associations. At some point, boundaries have to be set, and the association needs to start somewhere. But decisions taken tonight are not carved in stone. Members of the steering committee have discussed the boundaries issue with other residents’ associations.

Norma Wenger was concerned about changing the definition of Bloor West Village.

Stan Kumorek said the highest priority was to get the association off the ground. There is nothing to stop people living outside the area from being involved in the Bloor West Village association.

Ken Rawling suggested that the eastern boundary be extended to Keele Street. Residents of the high-rise buildings shop in Bloor West Village. The present boundaries include only single-dwelling homes, and apartment dwellers would bring more diversity to the association.

A member of the audience (unidentified) said that the chairman had promised at last November’s public information meeting that the new association would include all area residents not covered by an association. For this reason, some High Park residents had put off forming their own body. The Bloor West Village association should include the High Park-area apartments.

Jill Marzetti proposed the motion. Derek Ground seconded it. The motion was put a vote, and was approved by a show of hands.

4. Motion to Adopt Membership Eligibility and Fees

A “member” of the BWVRA will be defined as an adult (18 and over) who resides within the boundaries of the Association who has paid a membership fee. Those identifying themselves as residents at the March 1st founding meeting will be asked to vote on an annual fee of $10 per person. (A paid membership will not be required at the founding meeting, though they will be sold at that time.)

Membership will entitle the holder to vote at future meetings of the BWVRA on proposed initiatives. There will be no limit on the number of memberships available to adults residing at the same address.

Monies collected from the membership fee will be used to cover the costs of administering the BWVRA: web hosting, photocopying, postage, PO Box, etc.

In the case of any major BWVRA initiative that may require additional resources, those funds will be sought from the membership (or through public fundraising) only once members have voted to support such a plan.

The chairman invited discussion on the motion.

John Kimber asked why membership was restricted to residents within the association’s boundaries. He felt that the more members who signed up, the better.

Chris Holcroft said the committee reasoned that the association should not ask people to pay a membership fee if they were not entitled to vote.

Ed Guca questioned the phrase “those funds will be sought from the membership”. He was concerned that members would be forced to pay for BWVRA initiatives.

Jill Marzetti said that there would be no commitment of funds for special initiatives without members’ approval. Members will also decide how those funds should be raised.

Jay Zimmerman said the purpose of the motion was to ensure that the $10 membership fee would not be used for lobbying. If the association wants to hire a lawyer, members can decide at the time whether or not to contribute.

Bob Boroski suggested deleting the final sentence of the motion.

Sheila Malloch said the purpose of the association was primarily to share information, and membership fees would be used only to this end. The final sentence of the motion was designed as a protective measure to ensure that membership fees were spent in this way.

An amendment was put to the floor, changing the word “funds” to “donations”. The amendment was proposed by Sheila Malloch, and seconded by Jay Zimmerman. It was approved by a show of hands.

A second amendment was put to the floor, deleting the final sentence of the motion. Larry Hoffman proposed the amendment. Ed Guca seconded it.

Louis Gris, a representative of the Swansea Ratepayers Association, said that if the amendment was passed, the motion would lack any provision that might facilitate hiring a lawyer, if that became necessary.

The second amendment was put to a vote. It was defeated by a show of hands.

Steve McNally proposed the main motion, as amended. Larry Hoffman seconded it. The motion was approved by a show of hands.

[Note: the final text of the membership motion as approved at the meeting is here]

5. Motion to Adopt Mission Statement:

To share information and encourage the participation of all area residents in activities that promotes a liveable community.

Objectives:

to engage residents, businesses and other interested members of the community in issues specific to Bloor West Village and concerns that may affect all of Toronto

to provide a liaison and seek support from all levels of government (municipal, provincial and federal) on issues that concern our community

to promote a safe and healthy environment

to maintain the quality of life that reflects the unique character of the local community

to participate, through the most effective means, in the planning of new and redevelopment opportunities that reflect the values of the local community

to be proactive by keeping well informed and sharing information with all residents, businesses and other interested members of the community

The chairman said the steering committee had drawn up a “motherhood” mission statement designed to be as inclusive as possible. He suggested that, unless something egregious or controversial came to light, the meeting should adopt the statement in its current form.

Derek Ground said the word “promotes” was grammatically incorrect, and should be replaced with “promote”.

Harding Bishop suggested that school boards be added to “all levels of government”. He also suggested that “…and by working with other residents associations” be added to the final sentence.

An amendment incorporating the above three suggestions was proposed by Mary Mascarenhas, and seconded by Robyn Kalda. It was approved by a show of hands.

Larry Hoffman asked what was meant by Bloor West Village. Does the association’s mandate extend to issues south of Bloor Street, or the new Wal-Mart?

The chairman replied that the steering committee indicated no reluctance to become involved in issues beyond the association’s boundaries.

Chris Holcroft proposed the motion, as amended. Bob Boroski seconded it. The motion was approved by a show of hands.

Greg Hamara turned the chair over to John Leeson.

[Note: the final text of the mission statement is here.]

6. Election of Table Officers and Officers-at-Large

The following slate of table officers was presented to the meeting:

Chair: Greg Hamara

Vice-chair / Communications: Chris Holcroft

Secretary / Treasurer: Jill Marzetti

Membership: Steve McNally

Policy: Merril Mascarenhas

The chairman outlined the slate. The initial term of office will be one year.

C Wong suggested that the names be published in a local newspaper. He was concerned that the slate was a fait accomplit.

The chairman said there would also be an opportunity this evening to elect 15 officers-at-large. These positions were wide open. The slate had been publicised on the association’s website, and it was time to get the association off the ground.

The chairman asked the slate candidates to step forward to the front of the hall.

He put the slate to a vote. It was approved by a show of hands.

The chairman encouraged others to become involved in the association, and asked for nominations for officers-at-large. The following offered themselves as candidates (in alphabetical order):

Bob Boroski
Tom Davidson
Terry Graham
Peter Hamiwka
Larry Hoffman
Robyn Kalda
Dianne Kwok
Paul Nielsen
Michael Pasztor
Evelyn Sommers
Mark Warrack
Jay Zimmerman

Greg Hamara proposed a motion to accept these nominations. Chris Holcroft seconded it. The motion was approved by a show of hands.

John Leeson handed the chair back to Greg Hamara.

7. Motion to Adopt Quorum Policy

The quorum for “table officer” meetings will be three officers. The quorum for “all officer” meetings will be three table officers, and one-quarter of elected officers-at-large.

Jill Marzetti proposed the motion. Chris Holcroft seconded it. The motion was approved by a show of hands.

8. General Discussion

Marshall Leslie asked when a constitution would be drawn up, and circulated to association members.

The chairman replied that forming a committee to draw up a constitution was a high priority. He hoped that a constitution and by-laws could be submitted to members for ratification by early fall.

Numerous questions were directed to Counciller Saundercook on issues related to the building development at the corner of Bloor Street and Ellis Park.

9. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 9.20pm

1 thought on “March 1 Founding Meeting Notes

  1. Your association should make sure that it has standing membership on the WESTERN BEACHES WATERFRONT STAKEHOLDERS COMMITTEE because it is this committee that is going to evolve into the Western Beaches Study Group Committee determining all aspects of the western beaches development. We, the local residents, need to be the majority on these committees so as not to be railroaded again.

    TED CORDINA

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