Posted by: HamptonIona | February 18, 2011

Convent Greenspace Message

On  February 16, Amos Hayes held a meeting at Hilson Public School to focus on the proposed Convent levy and to develop a strategy for building community support for the levy.  Katherine Hobbs attended the meeting and spoke briefly to outline the current situation and her position.  The following note was written by Amos Hayes to summarize the meeting and to outline next steps:

City council have an opportunity to vote to purchase the southern end of the convent site. To fund the purchase the City has the option of using a mix of money from existing green space acquisition funds, development charges, and a modest property tax levy in Kitchissippi. To date, the councillor has been focusing on the levy but city-wide support would help our case for other funds.

First, the good news.

I held a meeting last night where a large number of people came out to offer their help. The goal was to get people organized to tackle the different parts of the campaign. A great many people volunteered to help with everything from flyer delivery to letter writing. Here’s an update:

Flyer delivery: I would like to keep the flyer delivery people in the wings for when we have an actual levy number.

Phone: I need a volunteer to phone a few people with these updates (only a handful of numbers right now)

Research: I need a blurb for the web site about the history of the convent. David Jeanes, do you have a document I would be able to draw from?

Also, Naomi Short dug into the soil report (it does exist) and there is nothing of note.

School Outreach: If you have school or parent council contacts, please work with Barbara Mitchell <barbara_mitchell@sympatico.ca>

Photos: I would like all the photos of the convent that are available. Please email them to me <ahayes@polkaroo.net>

Links: If there are URLs out there with useful information, could you please send them to Deb Chapman <debchapman@magma.ca> to be compiled into a list?

Web: I have a site ready to go complete with a form that will send custom messages to council, mayor, and staff depending on which ward people are in. It even handles people out of town. I would like to get it out there BUT…

Bad news:

We don’t have an amount for the levy. Councillor Hobbs has made it pretty clear that in order for any support to be counted, it would have to say something along the lines of “I support a levy of $X/year for Y years” and provide a full name and civic address.

Without knowing the numbers, we can’t get those emails. I have an easy to use form ready to go that I hope we can get to go viral – BUT – we aren’t going to get everyone to visit the thing more than once so, in my opinion, we need to hold off on our city-wide and ward-wide campaigns until we have the number. Apparently, the date for that is now March 1st.

That brings me to our “warm up” campaign. Obtain the numbers. I would like all of you to make three phone calls *tomorrow* (Friday).

Jim Watson (Mayor)  613-580-2496

“The city is stalling on an amazing opportunity to acquire a heritage park on the 114 Richmond Rd. site. Staff have had 3 months to run the numbers. March 1 is totally unacceptable.”

Peter Hume (Chair of Planning Committee) 613-580-2488

“For your motion in November to acquire green space at 114 Richmond Rd., you were able to get a preliminary calculation of the levy overnight. It estimated that a little over $4/year for 20 years would raise $1M. Please get staff moving on the numbers. They have have 3 months already. Totally unacceptable.”

Katherine Hobbs (Kitchissippi Councillor) 613-580-2485

“Re. 114 Richmond Rd. You told residents you would have a number a couple weeks ago. Then you said we’d have the amounts by Feb 17. You and staff have already had 3 months. March 1 is totally unacceptable.”

I welcome comments and suggestions on any of this. Email me or call me at 613-265-4489. 🙂

Amos Hayes (ahayes@polkaroo.net)

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