- Earth Day, Saturday, March 29th – Please turn off your lights for an hour and enjoy dinner by candlelight.
- Saturday, March 29th at 1:00 PM, Oak Bay United Church: Please join the Community Association of Oak Bay on Saturday, for a community forum on how you feel about our Oak Bay municipality, both high points and issues that concern us. The emphasis will be on identifying where the municipality can improve services and communication, both of which have been priorities for this Council but, for many municipalities, are also a continued “work in progress.”
- Wednesday, May 7th, Oak Bay Recreation Centre at 7:00 PM: The annual YES awards, recognizing exceptional young people in Grades 6 to 10. If you know of a young person who deserves recognition, please contact Councillor Michelle Kirby.
- Floor Area Ratio Committee will host a second Open House in the third week of April. Please visit the Municipal website and watch for details as to time, date and location. Or please contact Councillor Kevin Murdoch.
COUNCIL MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
- Greater Victoria Public Library’s (GVPL): I voted with Council to approve the GVPL’s 2014 operating budget and Five-Year Financial Plan. The GVPL has the second highest rate of circulation in Canada, has seen a 150% increase in e-materials, is one of two provinces that has the greatest number of users and, in Oak Bay, has the highest number of children participating in our library programs in the region. Staff innovation has saved the system about $18,000, despite increases in other areas. In fact, the budget increase of 2.81% actually reflects a decrease to the requested amount. Don’t forget, library cards are FREE. I noted that the importance of our library is so much more than supporting bricks and mortar; libraries are about enabling equal access to literacy, a critical factor in our personal, family and community development and well-being.
- Oak Bay Tourism Committee: I voted with Council to approve Oak Bay’s Tourism Committee’s 2013 Year End Report and 2014 Budget and Business Plan. The Committee is working hard to develop more activities related to making Oak Bay a desirable tourism destination and a community that attracts new events and excitement. The Committee is doing great work and has a dedicated group of volunteers supplying the necessary horsepower.
- Leaf Blowers: I voted with Council to refer the issue of noise and air pollution caused by leaf blowers, to Oak Bay’s Environment Committee and to our Parks and Recreation Commission for their consideration and input. Complaints about the use of leaf blowers originated from residents on Newport Ave., adjacent to the Victoria Golf Club. Both Victoria and Uplands Golf Clubs have an exemption that permits them to operate outside the current noise bylaw, consistent with the exemption for municipal staff. Staff will also review the situation. Some Council members talked about the possibility of a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers in Oak Bay but this could have negative impacts on the two golf clubs, on municipal staff and on the commercial landscaping sector. Stay tuned…
- Community Events: I voted with Council to approve four community events that will occur over the summer months involving marathons, public beach clean-up, cycling and public art (the wonderful Bowker Creek Brush-Up on August 10th). More details will be posted on this blog closer to the event dates.
- Apart from two heritage related building permit applications that were referred to the Heritage Commission for recommendations, the remaining agenda focused primarily on Grants-in-Aid applications from a variety of community groups, all of which were referred to Budget Estimates’ deliberations beginning in April. As you know, Grants-in-Aid are awarded to deserving community groups, most of whom are expected to provide a direct benefit to our Oak Bay Community.