The Mayor opened the meeting with remarks about the recent passing of longtime heritage advocate Judith Anderson. Judith was a passionately active Oak Bay and Victoria Heritage volunteer, as well as a member of the Hallmark Society. Judith recently requested that her house on Roslyn Road by designated, which occurred shortly before her death. Judith will be remembered for her wonderful sense of adventure and humour — she was a great friend to Oak Bay Heritage and to our entire community and she will be missed!
- First Nations Proposal
Local resident Mike Stacey made a request of Council to use photographs of interpretive First Nations Oak Bay Cairns and the Lekwungen Welcome Panel hanging in the lobby of municipal hall, for development of brochures for a walking tour. Council generally was supportive but suggested that Mr. Stacey consult first with local First Nations groups (Songhees, Lekwungen and the artist who created the Welcome Panel), Oak Bay’s Heritage Commission, local First Nations’ advocate Marion Cumming (also an Oak Bay Heritage volunteer) and the Oak Bay Tourism and Community Initiatives’ committees. I support this proposal but want to encourage Mr. Stacy to first undertake due diligence, including First Nations consultation.
- Road Closures for Block Parties Approved
I voted with Council to approve requests for road closures for three block parties in June, July and August. As I said in an earlier post, these are such great events because they bring neighbours and neighbourhoods together for an evening of fun and camaraderie.
- Providence Comes to Monterey Centre’s Parking Lot
I voted with Council to approve a request by the Providence Community Church to occupy the Monterey Centre’s parking lot on September 29 for part of the day, for a family and community event. Providence is a great advocate of bringing their members and families together for fun-filled and meaningful activities that build goodwill and a sense of community.
- No Brush Off for the Bowker Creek Brush Up
The Oak Bay Community Artists Society will host the 9th annual and very popular Bowker Creek Brush Up, a wonderful event that showcases the many talented and gifted artists that “colour” our community. The Brush Up is scheduled for August 11th and this year will have a special event that features children who love to create. I was happy to vote with Council to approve a small grant award to the Society that helps to defray the cost of liability insurance. Please attend and have a “brush” with an artist!
- Organics Collection Coming to a Kitchen Near You
I supported a staff recommendation for a contract tender award to Emterra Environmental, for the collection and management of organic kitchen waste beginning in Oak Bay on January 1, 2014. Emterra was the lowest of two bids and already provides some waste management services for Oak Bay. During deliberation, I asked two questions about the contract — why the disparity in bids and who/what department will manage the contract. I learned that collection will cost each Oak Bay household about $45, apparently lower than earlier estimates last year. This is a CRD initiative as well and I know that the Oak Bay pilot was successful and households that participated were enthusiastic about the program. I voted with Council to endorse the staff recommendation, support Emterra and set the wheels in motion to proceed to the next stage.
- Deferral on Regulating Fences and Hedges in Uplands
A staff report recommended that the municipality defers to the end of the year, a review of bylaw 3536 that regulates design of fences and hedges throughout the municipality. The wellspring for requesting this report originated last year when the design of fencing for an Uplands property was questioned related to its height and aesthetics. After brief discussion and Council consensus, I voted to support the staff recommendation that we re-visit this issue in the last quarter of this year.
- Action on Climate Change – Thumbs Up for Oak Bay
The Municipal Treasurer submitted her 2012 report on Oak Bay’s Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (a province-wide program adopted by the provincial government in 2009). In a nutshell, I’m pleased to report that our Oak Bay municipality is making progress toward carbon neutrality, thanks largely to the efforts of staff to cut carbon emissions and consumption. Please visit the Oak Bay website to read the complete report.
- Oak Bay High Continues Moving Forward
I voted with a Council majority to continue moving this project forward by endorsing the staff recommendation to adopt the contribution agreement for $1M, to be paid by Oak Bay in two stages. The topic generated a lot of debate, with concerns expressed about financial commitments, liability and “what if” scenarios. In the end, the majority of Council agreed with the staff report (including legal advice from the municipal solicitor) and the CAO’s recommendation, that the agreement is legally binding and provides the municipality a recourse if conditions around the use of the $1M are not fulfilled that is, the money must only be used to build the community theatre and arts facility components.
- OCP Quick Review
Interim CAO Gary Nason gave a detailed verbal report on the OCP renewal process to date, as follows: 8 visioning sessions and 2 Open Houses are complete, and the next Official Community Plan Advisory Committee (OPAC) meeting is June 24th at 5:00 in Council Chambers. Sessions have been, for the most part, well attended, with good public feedback. NO DECISION has yet been made on the community survey that will be developed over the summer months, using all data from recent public feedback at the sessions and Open Houses. As you know, there is some tension between those wanting a random survey and those wanting a survey sent to every Oak Bay household. This final decision will be made soon and your comments are welcome so please visit the municipal website. Stay tuned…
Don’t Forget the CRD Deer Management Report to a Special Council Meeting on Wednesday, June 12th at 7:00 in Council Chambers.