HAPPY NEW YEAR, FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS!
Health, happiness, peace and prosperity, to all of you throughout 2006!
The beginning of the year seems like a good time for an interim reporton the Carlington Community Association and an outline of our plans forthe coming year.
Property tax assessments have risen by more than 20% in Carlington, someas much as 40% or even more. While we know that this reflects realestate prices generally, many residents question the fairness of themethodology being used for tax assessments. This could well be anissue in the next provincial election.
Truck traffic on Kirkwood has been the subject of complaint for sometime. Why can't trucks be routed onto Maitland? We also worry thatincreasing traffic on Merivale and Fisher will spin off onto our quietside streets. Speeding and running red lights on Merivale causeproblems too.
We observe that work on roads, sidewalks, etc. is sometimes notperformed to standard and must be re-done at taxpayers' expense. Itappears that City managers are not held fully accountable for theperformance of their responsibilities. We perceive this as a problemwith the corporate culture in City management.
Security is an issue in every community. Following the shockingswarming attack on Merivale Road last fall, Councillor McRae called apublic meeting on security. The police officers present assured usthat the attack appeared to be an isolated incident and that the crimerate in our community is not excessive compared to other parts ofOttawa. I would like to take this opportunity to thank CouncillorMcRae for her prompt action in calling this meeting which did much toallay public concern.
The use of pesticides is a matter of concern in a residential area likeours. A show of hands at recent meetings indicated that our activemembers supported the proposed ban on pesticides and we weredisappointed when the ban was not approved by City Council.
Rezoning requests are rare but any that might lead to erosion ofresidential nature of Carlington is sure to encounter stiffopposition. The area was originally developed to provide modest andaffordable family housing and has served this purpose very well for somesixty years. We would like to keep it that way.
Councillor Maria McRae or one of her assistants regularly attends ourmeetings to keep us up to date on matters that affect our area, tolisten to our concernsm to answer questions, and to provide help andencouragement to our association. We appreciate this very much.
We are collaborating with the Alexander Community Centre on a WinterCarnival to take place on Saturday, February 4. The highlight of thisoccasion will be sleigh rides. In the spring we are planning to have acommunity-wide Garage Sale and Plant Sale. The Annual General Meetingwill also be in May. Our summer event will be a potluck picnic.There are no definite plans yet for a fall even but, as the time formunicipal elections approaches, we may want to hold an all-candidatesmeeting. Stay tuned for details and dates.
Several community members (including at least two professionalarchivist/historians) are interested in producing a history ofCarlington, based on extensive archives and interviews with long-termresidents. This is obviously a big job but we hope that eventually weshall be in a position to approach the City for publication funds.
The little "veteran houses" built sixty years ago according to threebasic plans predominate in a large part of Carlington. Most of thehouses have been renovated, some quite extensively. We would like tocompile plans and photographs or drawings of the more interestingchanges. Once this is done (perhaps as a student project), we mighthold a "Renovation Fair" or perhaps develop a special "Veteran HouseWeb-Site" with links to similar communities across the country. Thereare many possibilities.
We are re-designing our web-site along new lines, with links to otherweb-sites of importance to our community. The design work should becompleted this summer. Meanwhile a committee will be struck to developcontent and determine management methods.
Our by-laws will be reviewed this winter so that proposed revisions canbe voted on at our Annual General Meeting in May.
COLLABORATION WITH OTHER COMMUNITY GROUPS
In the last six months, we have established good relations with theAlexander Community Centre, the Carlington Community Resource Centre,the Bellevue Manor Interchange Committee, and the Friends of the Farm.We have joined the Federation of Citizens' Associations which puts us incontact with other community groups. We have volunteered toparticipate in the Community Advisory Committee for the CentralExperimental Farm. These contacts are valuable to our understanding ofthe community where we live and the wider context in which it islocated.
Regular meetings are at seven o'clock on the second Tuesdays of eachmonth in the Alexander Community Centre and are usually over around nineo'clock. Agenda items are grouped under "Information', "Issues","Activities" and "Administrative Matters". Sometimes we have a guestspeaker. For example, we recently had an interesting presentation onnew plans for the Central Experimental Farm. In January, RileyBrockington will give us an up-date on the School Board developments.
Forthcoming regular meetings will be on January 10, February 14, March14 and April 11. The Annual General Meeting will be in May, date to bedetermined.
In recent years, the Carlington Community Association has not had alarge membership compared to similar associations in some other parts ofOttawa. But I think you will agree we have an interesting programwhich we hope will attract a wider membership, particularly from thoseareas of Carlington which have not been much represented in the past.Please pass this report on to friends and neighbours in the area whomight be interested in joining us.
Membership ($10 per year for individuals, $20 for households) shows thatyou care about our community and support the aims of the association.It gives you a vote at general meetings, a voice on issues and anopportunity to help on plans, projects and activities. It's a fine wayto get to know neighbours, to understand your community, and to havesome fun.
In closing, I would like to say thank you to all of you who have comeout to meetings, helped with ideas, projects and activities, orencouraged and supported the Carlington Community Association in anyway. In particular, I would like to thank the members of our Board -Jerry, Linda, Sue, Glenn and Frances. They are a great team! I amsure they join me in wishing everyone a very happy and prosperousyear. Let's make it a great one for Carlington!
Jeanne Burgess President, Carlington Community Association