2010 05 12 Minutes

Minutes of the SoHo Community Association Meeting
Wellington Street United Church
Wednesday 12 May 2010 at 7:00 p.m.

Chair: Mark Woodward
Executive: Laurie Bursch – Vice President
Jennifer Verdam-Woodward – Treasurer
Mair Hughes – Web Administrator
Secretary: Peter Karas

Members at Large:

Greg Yarker
Alice Gibb

Sub Committees:

John George – Gardening

Liaison Committees:

Nancy Hamm – Neighbourhood Watch

In Attendance:

Gerry Thomas
Ellen Innes
Robyn Harvey
Karen Allwood

Guest Speakers:

Frank Longo
Greg Thompson

City Liaison: Councilor Judy Bryant Ward 13

Discussion Action By:
Presentation by Frank Longo, Longo Food Service Equipment Inc.
Mr. Longo gave a short presentation about his plans to move his
business to Soho. (Property at 523 South St.) Details included business
type, possible donation of two houses to Habitat for Humanity, traffic
effects, and variance required for startup. Mr. Longo asked for
community support for his plans, including a letter of support.
The group decided that a letter of support, (when needed) would be
offered to Mr. Longo.
Presentation by Robyn Harvey, regarding community gardens. His
suggestion was to have someone in the group be a “community garden
liason.” (Or to have a community garden subcommittee.)
John George volunteered for this position.
John George
Agenda Items Action By:
Executive Committee Appointments
Members of the group decided that it would be appropriate to assign (or
volunteer) for positions on the executive committee, so as to get the group
“up and running”. Positions as follows:
President: Mark Woodward
Vice President: Laurie Bursch
Treasurer: Jennifer Verdam-Woodward
Secretary: Peter Karas
Additionally, a subcommittee position.
Social Service Subcommittee: Wendy Russell
The website is up and running. Everyone was encouraged to have a look,
and comment on changes, updates etc. Report any changes to Mair
Database Retrieval:
Mair Hughes gave us an update on the continuing job of contacting the
community, and establishing a “complete” email list. Nancy Hamm gave
an update on updating the phone tree, for people without email accounts.
Community Mailout Opportunity:
There is still the opportunity for inclusion in the mailout by City of
London, through the Community Improvement Plan. (Next meeting has
not been set.) Mair Hughes volunteered to add a “soho graphic” to the
letter provided by Mark Woodward, and to get that back to Judy Bryant.
Laurie Bursch volunteered to get in contact with city rep (Lou Pompilli?)
Re: date for next meeting.
AGM Planning:
Discussion on setting a date for the AGM, and how to plan for the
meeting. (Should we send out an email with nominees names
A tentative meeting date for June 23rd was set, depending on the date of
the next Community Improvement Plan meeting, and inclusion in the
city’s mailout.
Presentation by Greg Thompson:
Greg Thompson president of the Old East Community Association gave a
presentation on how “Old East” operates, and what they have found
has/hasn’t worked. Some of his thoughts:
– On the structure of a community association. To have at each AGM,
when a president steps down, or doesn’t put his/her name forward,
automatic election of the Vice President. This would ensure
continuity, and dissuade special interests from voting in “one issue”
(see below)
Meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.
Distribution List:
Greg Yarker
Jennifer Verdam-Woodward
Mair Hughes
John George
Nancy Hamm
Laurie Bursch
Alice Gibb
Peter Karas
Mark Woodward
Debra Martin
Cathy Martin
– The merits of getting business involved in the community
organization. His advice was to encourage business to form a
separate BIA, and to only offer membership to residents, due to
conflicting goals of business and residents (possibly).
– How best to communicate to residents/members. Old East does a
quarterly newsletter. Expensive but it gets the message out.
– Charging a membership fee – do we want to do this? Old East
charges a 10/ yearly fee. (Woodfield has 10/year, 50 lifetime
– Greg strongly recommended joining the Urban League of London.
(50$/yr) This would give us access to their insurance coverage for
events at lower cost, give us future access (possibly) to city
committees etc. Every community association recognized by City of
London is at least a member of the Urban League. Laurie Bursch
agreed to attend meetings. (Judy Bryant agreed to pay for a 1 year
– In addition Greg spoke about getting our message out to the media –
and how best to speak about community issues. (Discussion of
problem issues downplayed / positive messages, in line with
Community Plan emphasized.)