Keeping in touch
Welcome to the first issue of Electoral Area A Update. As Alternate Director, I felt it would be appropriate for this part of the newsletter to look back to honour and recognise Director Laurence Elliott, who passed away in February, early in his second term of office.
Laurence gave freely of his time to the residents of Area A. Among the many acts of local government he led or contributed strongly to, the Nanaimo River Regional Park acquisition stands out. This large parcel of riverside lands is now protected for the community to enjoy in perpetuity as a Cassidy-area counterpart to Hemer Park in the Cedar area.
Laurence also led the RDN involvement in the reviving of the old North Cedar School, now the vibrant and forward-looking Cedar Heritage Centre. Renewal of Area A's Official Community Plan and the Area A parks and trails study/survey were other major projects for Laurence, which he made room for in a full life of business, family, RDN committees and caring about the people of Area A.
In the interim before the by election, there are many issues to be dealt with.
These include future parks and trails development (now that we have a survey), local implications of the Snuneymuxw Band's coming land claims' settlement, our input to the Regional Growth Management Plan review, bus and HandyDART service in Area A, not to mention neighbourhood or lot-specific matters.
To be effective on your behalf, I need to hear from you. Please do not hesitate to call me in the evening at home or by email at the contacts listed on the back of this newsletter.
Henrik Kreiberg, Alternate Director,
Electoral Area A
Area A 2003 By Election set for May 31
Qualified resident and non-resident voters in Electoral Area A (South Wellington, Cassidy, Cedar) will vote, if required, in a by election on May 31, 2003 to elect one Director from Area A for a term ending December 2005.
Advance Voting Opportunities
RDN Administration Office,
6300 Hammond Bay Road
Wednesday, May 21 and 28, 2003
8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
To vote at an advanced voting opportunity, qualified electors must sign a statement that they:
Saturday, May 31, 2003,
8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
North Cedar Intermediate School
2215 Gould Road
Nominations for By Election Candidates
Nominations for qualified candidates will be received by the Chief or Deputy Chief Election Officer at the offices of the Regional District of Nanaimo between 9 a.m., Tuesday, April 15 and 4 p.m., April 25, 2003 during regular office days and hours.
Candidates must fulfill nomination criteria and be nominated in writing by two qualified electors of the Regional District of Nanaimo. When filing nomination documents, the candidate must file a written disclosure as required under the Financial Disclosure Act. Nomination forms and other required documentation are available at the RDN offices, 6300 Hammond Bay Rd., Nanaimo, B.C. V9T 6N2.
For more information For further information on nominations or voter registration and qualifications call the RDN at 390-4111 or toll-free 1-877-607-4111 or visit www.rdn.bc.ca
Input gathered on purchase of Old Errington School
Community Services News
Morden Colliery Trail upgraded
Fifteen volunteers turned out on March 23 to help upgrade sections of the Morden Colliery Trail between Cedar and Woobank Roads. The group removed broom and improved drainage by digging ditches along the side of the trail and installing a culvert in a wet section.
Judy Burgess, Chair of the Area A Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee, organized the work party. RDN Parks staff provided equipment, and refreshments.
Community Trails Study to be implemented
Last November the Regional Board approved the Area A Community Trails Study as a guiding document for future trail initiatives. The study funded through the Area A Community Parks' budget can be viewed on the RDN Website. Just click on Recreation and Parks, then Electoral Area Park Plans and follow the links.
The trails study reviewed Area A's formal and informal trails and makes a number of recommendations such as how to improve linkages by using utility corridors.
The Area A Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee will be focusing on trails over the next two years and implementing the recommendations of the trails study.
Nanaimo River Regional Park
A management plan to guide recreational development of the Nanaimo River Regional Park will be undertaken by the Regional District later this year. The RDN contributed $350,000 to the park's acquisition by the Land Conservancy of BC. The 140-acre property is located on both sides of the Nanaimo River downstream of the Island Highway bridge. The RDN has a 99-year lease to manage the park for both public recreation and wildlife habitat conservation.
Cedar Transit service changes
In response to a cost sharing freeze by BC Transit and other funding challenges in 2003, Transit implemented several service changes on March 30 on low ridership routes.
The #8 Southside route on Saturdays leaving the South Parkway Plaza at 4:34 p.m. was a trip with consistently low ridership. This trip has been removed from the schedule. There are no other changes for the #8 Southside route.
Information on the March 30 service changes is available on the bus, at all Transit vendors, on the Bus On Line automated telephone system at 390-4531 and on the RDN Website.
A Transit Business Plan Update public meeting will be held on April 30 at Beban Park from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Cedar residents are invited to attend and discuss Transit and HandyDART service in their area.
Development Services News
Community learns about streamside protection
A series of meetings and walks along local creeks were held this spring to build community awareness of the value of fish, fish habitat and the importance of maintaining streamside vegetation. RDN Development Services and the Nanaimo Area Land Trust (NALT) co-organized the two community meetings and walks along Haslam and Napoleon Creeks and Holden Lake. The well-attended presentations discussed the roles individuals, business, industry and government plays in protecting local watersheds.
When the Electoral Area A Official Community Plan was adopted in 2001, it included measures to protect wetlands and adjacent riparian vegetation. However, implementation of these measures was deferred until December 2003. In the meantime, the RDN has been working to increase awareness of the value of fish, fish habitat and riparian vegetation.
Corporate Services News
No increase in RDN taxes for Area A services
Area A taxpayers will pay about $182.67 per $100,000 of assessed property values for services provided by the Regional District in 2003, a slight decrease over 2002.
The Regional Board adopted the 2003 budget on March 25 as part of a 5-year financial plan. Under the Local Government Act, regional districts must now prepare 5-year projections on taxation and expenditures. While the Regional District has always considered the longer term implications of service changes, the new legislation formalizes the process and offers staff, elected officials and the public an opportunity to make even more informed decisions about the services they wish to support in their community.