HIRRA, HIAC, a Close Vote and Next Steps
[Article submitted to The First Edition for October publication.]
At the September 12 Hornby Island Residents’ and Ratepayers’ (HIRRA) meeting, the Hornby Island Arts Council (HIAC) gave a report on their research into siting a new art centre on HIRRA land, and made a motion that HIAC be granted permission to build an art centre on HIRRA-owned property.
The meeting had a great turnout, attended by 68 HIRRA members, plus the Executive and Administrator, and 13 new members. Voting was by paper ballot and the initial count indicated a tie vote: 33 in favour and 33 opposed (and 6 abstentions). HIRRA President Rob McCreary fulfilled his parliamentary role and broke the tie by voting in favour of the motion.
A recount after the meeting showed that one ballot was miscounted. The actual vote according to the ballots cast was: 34 in favour, 32 opposed and 6 abstentions. The HIRRA Executive has decided that in future if there is a tie vote, the recount will be done immediately.
Furthermore, votes on important community issues with such close results need follow-up. A clear consensus, or at least a large majority, is preferable, in order to have some assurance of strong community support for a project.
In this instance, the follow-up will include further consultation between HIRRA and HIAC, between HIAC and its design team, and between HIAC and the community. At the October 10 HIRRA meeting, HIAC is scheduled to present a proposed building design for a specific site on HIRRA land: either near the Community Hall to the west of the chair storage room, or on HIRRA’s other piece of property at a site beside the driveway to the Credit Union overlooking the RCMP field. As explained at the May 16, 2018 HIRRA meeting, HIRRA members will have the opportunity to vote again, this time for or against the specific site and design of a proposed HIAC art centre. As also discussed on May 16, the proposal can move forward if the specific site and design receives this second approval from the HIRRA membership.
Before the next meeting, HIRRA will also be working on drafting a lease agreement that will clarify HIAC’s rights and responsibilities should they proceed with building an art centre on HIRRA land. Community members will also have an opportunity to view the proposed sites, receive answers to questions and concerns that have been raised and propose creative solutions to the challenges that have been identified. Every potential site for the art centre will have advantages and disadvantages, benefits and challenges. Regulations, project costs, infrastructure, and accessibility are all factors.
While it was clear there is strong support in the community for HIAC to proceed with an art centre, it is not yet finalized where it will be. Hopefully with more information and consideration the next vote will provide greater consensus.
To contact HIRRA, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250) 335-1842
To contact HIAC, e-mail: email@example.com or call (250) 335-2070
HIAC DRAFT Site Plan Possibilities Available for Public Review
Hornby Island Arts Council has posted DRAFT site plan maps of possible locations for a HIAC gallery on HIRRA owned land on their web-site.
HIAC will be bringing a motion to approve, in principle, siting the gallery on HIRRA land to the September 12 meeting. Possible sites have also been flagged on the ground in the vicinity of the Hall to help people visualize the size and potential locations of a HIAC gallery on HIRRA land.
Core Services Draft 2019 Budget
The DRAFT Core Services 2019 budget was approved at the September 12, 2018 HIRRA meeting. Funding for Core Services comes primarily from HIRRA Committees in proportion to their overall expenses (bigger committee budgets contribute more to Core Services than smaller committee budgets). Core Services includes general expenses for HIRRA as an organization: Administration and Bookkeeping wages and supplies, as well as publicity, Directors’ and Officers’ insurance and professional accounting year-end review services.
The Community Contingency line (any expenses over $1,000 to be approved by Assembly) has in the past provided short term funding for such community initiatives as Halloween Fireworks and Community Bus.
Change of HIRRA Meeting Venue
In the aftermath of the recent School fire, HIRRA has offered the School District the use of the Hornby Island Community Hall from September through December as a classroom for Hornby students. The School District requested that they have exclusive use from Monday through Thursday (school days) so that they only have to pack away classroom furniture and materials on weekends rather than daily.
HIRRA has agreed to move our monthly meetings to New Horizons for those months to accommodate the School. We look forward to lively discussions and the support of our membership during this temporary inconvenience.
Summer Break: Etiquette, Blue Bus and Fire Safety
As Hornby steps into high gear for the summer, HIRRA takes a break. The next general HIRRA meeting will be Wednesday, September 12 at 7:3pm at the Community Hall.
Remember that HIRRA’s Guide to Etiquette of Meetings can be useful in all interactions over the sometimes stressful summer season. Practicing respectful, honest communication, focusing on issues rather than personalities and assuming people have a positive motivation will go a long way to ensuring both residents and visitors enjoy sharing our unique island.
HIRRA again contributed to the Community Bus Project. This is an initiative of Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Society in partnership with the Hornby Island Community Economic Enhancement Corporation (HICEEC) offering a free summer bus service around the island. The data on ridership, and other feedback, will be key to the future of the Community Bus. If ridership and community support is strong, there may be tax funding available to continue running the bus in the future. Try leaving your car at home and hopping on the Blue Bus when it comes by. (Check the schedule first.)
Finally, thanks to Hornby Island Fire Rescue (including First Responder and Fire Patrol personnel) for promoting safe beach-fire practices and being on call to respond to emergencies of all kinds. Please respect fire regulations, report any concerns, and stay safe as you have fun out there.
Emergency Preparedness Committee formed
Thanks to five islanders stepping up to volunteer for the Emergency Preparedness Committee. The Committee is already starting work on a Hornby Island Emergency Preparedness Plan in consultation with Hornby Island Fire Rescue and Comox Valley Emergency Preparedness staff.
The Committee welcomes more volunteers to help with this project. Their next meeting will be on Saturday, July 21 at 3:00. For more info, contact Committee Chair David Wiseman or the HIRRA Administrator.
Housing on Hornby
Housing continues to be a key issue for on Hornby as it is with most resort destinations. Many Hornby residents are now facing the scramble to find summer shelter as their winter homes are now being used for summer residents or rentals. HIRRA’s Housing Committee is working closely with ISLA and Elder Housing to find solutions and support for Hornby residents dealing with housing issues. Please visit the Housing web-page and contact the Committee if you can offer help or need help with housing.
HIRRA Travel Policy Revisions adopted
The HIRRA Executive has reviewed the current HIRRA Travel Expense Policy and recommended some revisions for approval by the Assembly at the June HIRRA meeting. The revised policy is available on-line as a PDF here: DRAFT Travel policy and forms April 2018.
Appreciation for HIRRA Volunteers
We wish to acknowledge and thank more than 65 volunteers, members of our community, who toil behind the scenes of HIRRA. The Fire Protection and first responders safety net; the goings on at the Community Hall, the Fall Fair, the Free Store and Recycling Depot; the maintenance of the Cemetery, the Regional Parks and Roadside Trails, and the strategically placed public Privies; the “fun in all kinds of weather” Recreation programs; the removal of invasive Weeds; the public well on Sollans Road; and the opportunity for additional non-profit groups to use space in the Savoie Building and on HIRRA land: all these services are stewarded, nurtured and tended to by volunteers. Please know how much we appreciate all that you give!
New members are welcome (must be a Hornby resident of at least 6 months or a rate-paying property owner on Hornby). New members are eligible to vote 42 days after registering.
In partnership with the Comox Valley Regional District, over fifty volunteers on HIRRA Committees manage and oversee these services:
~ Fire Protection/First Responders
~ Recycling and Waste Management including the Free Store
~ Community Hall maintenance
~ Regional Parks and Trails maintenance (Including: Mount Geoffrey Regional Nature Park and adjoining Crown Land trails, Sandpiper Beach, Grassy Point, Hidden Beach, Clamshell Place, Periwinkle Place, St. John’s Point Road and Trallee Point, and the Hornby Roadside Trails)
~ Invasive Plant Control
~ Comfort Stations at various locations around the island (the Privy Council)
~ Community Recreation programs offered year round
~ Boat Ramp maintenance and management
~ Fall Fair organization
~ Cemetery maintenance and management
~ Housing support
Community Emergency Planning Workshop
Comox Valley Emergency Program Coordinators Howie Siemens and George Doerksen gave a presentation on community planning for emergencies as well as how to prepare your own families and homes for emergencies.
Many questions emerge when we discuss potential emergency situations. Where to go? What to do? What supplies to store? Who will help? How to help others? Different situations will mean different answers. An extended power outage or a severe snow storm would require very different responses than a forest fire or an earthquake. Fortunately, being prepared for possible emergencies can significantly improve people’s resiliency and survival (both physical and psychological).
Minutes of the meeting on Saturday, February 17, at 1:00pm at the Community Hall can be read here:
Community Emergency Preparedness Meeting Feb 2018.
2018 Budgets Approved
Thank you to all the HIRRA members who attended the November 8, 2017 HIRRA meeting to review and approve budgets for HIRRA’s tax-funded Committees: Fire Protection, Recycling/Waste Management, Regional Parks and Trails, Invasive Weed Control, Comfort Stations (Outhouses).
2018-2022 approved budgets are posted HERE .
The Recreation Budget is based on a grant from the CVRD, usually disbursed in August. The DRAFT 2018 Recreation Budget was presented, reviewed and approved at the March 14, 2018 HIRRA meeting.
Community Bus Pilot Project Update
Letters of support for the Community Bus can be sent to Hornby’s School Trustee, Sheila MacDonnell (to facilitate having a bus that can carry both students and other island commuters), and to the Area A Regional District Director, Bruce Jolliffe (to facilitate receiving tax funding for the bus).
New Cemetery Land Needed
In the spring of 2017 an ad hoc Committee was formed, charged with finding suitable land for a new Cemetery. The existing Cemetery can still accommodate cremated remains but has little room left for full body burials, so there is an urgent need for more suitable land. Contact the Administrator or Cemetery Committee members for more information.
Wednesday, Sept 12, 2018 at 7:30pm at NEW HORIZONS CENTER.
Regular meetings are on the second Wednesday of each month except August and January.
We value our unique opportunity to self govern.
Water sample results for Hornby Island can be viewed via the Vancouver Island Health Authority web-site.
The Hornby Island Residents’ & Ratepayers’ Association (HIRRA) is a non-profit society registered in the province of B.C. since 1973. Through this association we have an opportunity to be self-governing. HIRRA administers our tax dollars, and as its name implies, membership is open to residents and property owners of the island.
See the About page for complete information.
From the November 13, 2013 regular meeting:
Rats and Us: Daniel Siegel created a worksheet on rat management and circulated to all at the November 2013 meeting. There are copies at the Co-op. Doug Shaw addressed the assembly on rat control methods. The Co-op is not licensed to sell rat poisons that are toxic to other animals. Several solutions were advanced. The question was asked can we give out traps? Toxic poisons are the last resort.