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Minutes of the SoHo Community Association Meeting
Wellington Street United Church
Wednesday 21 April 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Chair: Marie Claire Bilyk
Secretary: Peter Karas
In Attendance: Greg Yarker
Jacqueline St. Cyr
City Liaison: Councilor Judy Bryant Ward 13
1. Introductory Remarks
The Chair called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. She welcomed all in
attendance and a brief round of introductions took place.
2. Review of Minutes
As there were no previous minutes this portion was waived.
There was no motion to accept
3. Comments of Outgoing Chair General
The chair proceeded with an overview of the positive aspects of the group and
its accomplishments to date. These included the working community
organization, the recognition from the City of London, in particular from the
Official Community Planning Committee, and the presence of a group willing
to continue with the process.
Councillor Bryant urged the group to be mindful of the need to maintain
momentum so as to adequately capitalize on advances previously made.
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4. Database Retrieval
The loss of the membership database was discussed. It was agreed that
rebuilding the database was a major priority. Additionally the contact list
should include all methods of contact so that the group can reach out to those
persons not on email.
Councillor Bryant mentioned an opportunity to put a flyer out to the
community in conjunction with the next mail-out of the City planning process,
which will be mailed to all SoHo households in the coming month. This forum
could be used to promote an annual general meeting of the SoHo
Neighbourhood Association and would also enable the group to begin
rebuilding the contact database.
Mair Hughes offered to handle the Membership database and ensure that it is
backed up. A hard copy will reside with Nancy Hamm.
The relative merits of a website vs. a blog account were discussed. It was
noted that a domain name has been purchased and also that a website was
already partially complete. Therefore it was decided that the website option
was the best.
Peter Karas offered to explore the possibility of hosting the website on his
personal server and the group agreed to this. The outgoing Chair, Peter Karas
and Mair Hughes will meet separately to discuss the provisions for security,
administrative access and content.
A concern was raised that in the past the website had been a forum for partisan
political views. It was agreed that this was an unacceptable practice and would
not be permitted for the new website.
6 Future and Focus
Marie-Claire spoke on the direction of the group under her leadership. She
noted that her focus had been primarily project-driven and that she did not
recommend this approach for the new group. She suggested that the group
meet soon to discuss a new structure and new rules, ordered under a
constitution and bylaws, as described by Mark Woodward. Mark will forward
a draft copy to those in attendance as soon as possible.
In the meantime it was decided that the group should communicate with the
neighbourhood residents as widely as possible regarding the upcoming annual
general meeting and that the best forum was likely to use the SoHo mail-out as
proposed by Judy Bryant earlier in the meeting. It was decided further that
nominations and elections to the executive committee would take place at the
annual general meeting in June.
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7. SoHo Artefacts and Historical Documents
The outgoing Chair distributed documents that had been in her possession.
Alice Gibb was given documents and maps which related to the history of
Mark Woodward was given three folders, one of which contained information
on London Arts Council grants for the decorative benches, one regarding the
SoHo Arts and Culture Nights and one marked “SoHo”, which contained other
miscellaneous documents relating to the neighbourhood.
8. Date of Next Meeting
There was some discussion about the best night of the week for future
meetings. It was generally agreed that Wednesdays remain the best day.
It was agreed that the next meeting would be held at Wellington Street United
Church on Wednesday, May 12th at 7:00 p.m.
Nancy Hamm volunteered to be the liaison between the church and the SoHo
group with regard to arranging meetings
9. General Discussion
It was reiterated that we need to focus on rebuilding the SoHo group contact
list, and that this effort must include a focus on accommodating individuals
who prefer paper mail or telephones to electronic communications.
10. Farewell to Outgoing Chair
In closing Laurie Bursch thanked Marie-Claire for all her work with the group
in the past.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
Greg Yarker Jennifer Verdam-Woodward Mark Woodward
Mair Hughes John George Debra Martin
Nancy Hamm Shirley Fiddick Jacqueline St. Cyr
Axel Thompson Derrick McBurney Laurie Bursch
Alice Gibb Cathy Martin
Councilor Judy Bryant Ward 13