WERA General Meeting for May 27, 2014

May 27, 2014: commenced 7:01 p.m.
                                Chair: Elmer Rudolph;      Recorder: Gavin McLeod
                                Number of attendees: 15

  1. Approval of minutes of previous meetings: Motion to approve minutes of March 25, 2013. Moved by Gavin McLeod and seconded by Joanne Dawe.
  2. Additional Agenda Items: Arising from the minutes, Mary Wilson and the 2014 Jane’s Walk. Frank Norman asked to discuss a policy on email.
  3. Chief Constable Dave Jones: Chief Dave Jones spoke about policing in New Westminster and reaching out to the community through the Residents’ Associations. Each Resident’s Association has a representative to the Community Policing Committee; the WERA representative is Gavin McLeod. The Committee meetings allow communication from an between representatives and reports to Community policing on non traffic issues. Theft from cars and theft of cars is a current issue in the west end. Chief Jones reported on New Westminster Police presence on Facebook, Twitter and the New Westminster Police website, the website gives access to a crime map where residents can check on crime in their area. There is a police meeting Wednesday mornings where crime trends are discussed. Crime has decreased in New Westminster over the years to the extent that percentages have been replaced by rate per 1000. The downtown area has shown great improvement with the reduction in night clubs and crack down on drug trafficking. Prostitution remains a problem in the upper end of 12th street made more difficult to deal with due to Supreme Court of Canada changes in the law. Chief Jones advised that police should be called despite the fact that they can’t make arrests. Chief Jones spoke on complaints about Marijuana, possession of small amounts will not result in prosecution but complaints may be dealt with via nuisance laws, he also reported on the shutting down of the Marijuana shop on upper 12th street. Growing of medical Marijuana is legal and may exist in industrial areas. Dave reported on a homicide close to the 22nd street skytrain station and commented that skytrain stations can be a locus of crime. The New Westminster Police feel that it is their duty to inform the residents of risky people in the area. There will be hiring of two civilian vehicle inspectors next year to ensure that trucks travelling through New Westminster are safe and following regulations. There will also be increased enforcement against trucks violating motor vehicle laws. There were many questions about traffic enforcement, Dave responded that due to budget and staff restrictions there can not be 24 x 7 enforcement in all areas, he noted that they monitored illegal left turns off first street and found that most of the violators were local residents and that 60 percent of speeders are residents. Chief Jones was asked why residents are asked for personal information when phoning, they were informed that it was in case follow up was needed but added that it was possible to remain anonymous when reporting a problem. There have been increasing incidents involving mental health issues. Regarding walker safety Chief Jones suggested that engineering is a vital partner in ensuring pedestrian safety. Fraser health and the New Westminster police have entered into a formal partnership to work together to respond more effectively to individuals in mental health and substance use crisis situations. Chief Jones’ presentation was well received.
  4. Traffic Problems at 20th street and London: Dawn Emery spoke on problems with drivers turning left off 20th on to London and spoke about an accident that caused injury to a resident. There was much discussion about problems with rat running and speeding especially considering that there are small children in the area. Some proposals were barricade(s) at 20th and London and possibly Dublin and Edinburgh, taller speed bumps, flexible lane dividers preventing left turns off 20th. Elmer Rudolph proposed that the neighbourhood residents, along London street, get together and appoint a few representatives, then alert Elmer so WERA and the representatives can make a presentation to city council and demand action that was promised previously.
  5. Report on  “Janes Walk” (Informative Walks) In The City, May 2014: Mary Wilson talked about the great success of the “Jane’s Walk” event this  year and presented a certificate to Gavin McLeod who volunteered to create and lead a walk.
  6. Community Policing Committee Report (Gavin McLeod): not given due to lack of time, deferred to the next meeting
  7. Traffic Advisory Committee Report (Joanne Dawe): not given due to lack of time.
  8. ActBiPed Committee Report (Mary Wilson): not given due to lack of time.
  9. Official Community Plan Update: Elmer Rudolph announced that there will travelling workshops scheduled in the month of June the West End, Connaught Heights meeting will be held on June 3, 2014, 5-8pm at Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary School Gym, 1714 Eighth Avenue .
  10. Residents’ Association Forum Meeting (Gavin McLeod): not given due to lack of time.


Meeting adjourned at: 9:20 p.m.
Next meeting: Tentatively Tuesday September23, 2014 at Unity in Action Church from 7pm to 9pm.

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