WERA Meeting March 25 2014

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March 25, 2014: commenced 7:03 p.m.
                                Chair: Elmer Rudolph;     Recorder: Gavin McLeod
                                Number of attendees: 13
  1. Approval of minutes of previous meetings: Motion to approve minutes of November 26th 2013. Moved by Joanne Dawe and seconded by Andrew Murray and Mary Wilson.
  2. Additional Agenda Items: Sandra Coll and Greg Jones, representing P4PE (Parents for Public Education) will be introducing themselves and explaining the purpose of their organization. Elmer Rudolph will report on the latest Residents’ Association meeting.
  3. Hyack Activities Presentation by Marge Ashdown: Marge Ashdown spoke on the Hyack Ambassador Program. The program provides training for 16 to 19 year olds to prepare them for leadership positions. Sponsors provide $850 as partial funding. Ambassadors are available to promote events in the community. The Ambassadors program includes the “Miss New Westminster” event. Elmer Rudolph asked if males are eligible for the “Miss New Westminster” event; Marge Ashdown replied in the affirmative. The crowning of Miss New Westminster 2014 will occur on Thursday, April 10th, 2014 at the Columbia Theatre and will cost $20.
  4. Status of the Stewardson Way Overpass: Elmer Rudolph reported on the slow progress in getting access for pedestrians and bicycles from River Drive to the rest of the West End of New Westminster; the process has been dragging on for years with various objections being raised by the City of New Westminster. A motion from the ActBiPed committee was approved by City Council and it has been suggested that a grade level crosswalk is being considered near to where the original crosswalk was located.
  5. Discussion Of Possible “Janes Walk” (Informative Walks) In The City, May 2014: Mary Wilson talked about the great success of the “Janes Walk” event last year in New Westminster and displayed a book listing “Janes Walks” around the world including New Westminster. Mary asked for a volunteer to arrange a walk to show the problems of access from River Drive via the only existing crossings, Gavin McLeod volunteered to create and lead a walk.
  6. Community Policing Committee Report: Gavin McLeod reported that the meeting for this month.
  7. Traffic Advisory Committee Report: Joanne Dawe reported that there has not been a Traffic Advisory Committee Meeting.
  8. ActBiPed Committee Report: Mary Wilson reported that the committee has been working on the Master Transportation Plan
  9. Parents For Public Education (P4PE): Sandra Coll and Greg Jones reported on the formation of D4PE. The group is composed of concerned parents who wish to do something about the major problems that have been ongoing in the school system for many years. They commented that the school board is divided into two groups; the labour backed elected members and the members representing Voice. Many problems have become evident over the past years including many deficits leading to mounting debt, the lack of a new high school, a decaying high school which has had problems with asbestos resulting in the levying of a fine by WorkSafeBC in 2005. The stated goal of the group is not to be a political party, but to bring a "renewal of the board" with a greater scope of skills and new perspectives and rebuild confidence in the school district. There will be a public meeting at Douglas College on Wednesday April 23rd.
  10. Residents’ Association Forum Meeting: Elmer Rudolph reported on the latest meeting which mainly focused on the Pattullo Bridge and problems with controlling truck traffic due to the fact that New Westminster can not act unilaterally but must get approval from Translink who will consult with the trucking companies. It was suggested at the meeting that truck dispatchers would be able to provide information on truck route assignment including origin and destination.

Meeting adjourned at: 8:30
Next meeting: Tuesday May 27th 2014 at Unity in Action Church from 7pm to 9pm.

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