Below is a quick overview of the public meeting that took place at the Lakeshore Campus of Humber College on Nov. 30, 2015, for the launch of what is tentatively known as the Long Branch Neighbourhood Association. The meeting was in the L Building behind the Tim Horton’s on Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive, in Room L1017.
I would describe it as a well-organized, well-run meeting. Here is my sense of some key features of the event.
About 130 people were there, Brian Liberty, who chaired the meeting, mentioned. People filled in an attendee list as they came in and took a one-page survey with them to their seats. [Update: at a Dec. 7, 2015 follow-up ‘next steps’ meeting, attended by about 20 people, it was noted that 112 people attended the Nov. 30 meeting and about a dozen people sent messages indicating they were interested but unable to attend. Ninety-eight people filled out the Nov. 30 survey, for a response rate of 88%, with a geographical distribution that represented a cross-section of the neighbourhood.]
The responses to the survey will be summarized for a meeting on Dec. 7, 2015 meeting in order to provide the organizing group with a clear starting point that identifies resident concerns, priorities, and preferred degrees of involvement.
Brian Liberty provided an overview of the issues that an association might be addressing. There was discussion regarding what structural form the association might take, and how liability issues might best be addressed.
Barbara Leibel highlighted current planning-related work that is going on at the City of Toronto level, which has a particular relevance for Long Branch.
Among other things, she spoke of MPP Peter Milczyn’s Bill 39 which seeks to define “minor” in minor variance as a percentage cap above what’s permitted by zoning and to curtail the powers of the OMB with respect to local decisions.
An overview by John Cary from the Mimico Residents Association highlighted what has worked well for them.
Dec. 7, 2015 meeting will focus on the next steps for the Association
Quite a large group of residents indicated they plan to attend the Dec. 7 meeting at Humber College where the focus will be on the next steps in the setting up of the association. As I understand, the meeting will focus not only on who wants to take on which formal leadership positions; it will be a meeting that will be of interest to every Long Branch resident who wishes to offer input on what shape the association will take.
This is a planning meeting for all Long Branch residents who are interested in taking an active role, in whatever capacity, in the formulating the next steps for the association.
For information, contact LongBranchTO@gmail.com
The Dec. 7, 2015 meeting is at 7:00 pm at Humber College, Building L (same building as the Nov. 30, 2015 meeting). The tentatively chosen venue is Room L3002/3005.
In my experience over the past 30 years, the follow-up meetings, after the founding meeting for any association of any kind, is the key next step in the launch of the association. The follow-up meetings determine whether or not the initial enthusiasm, of a launch meeting, is maintained as the years go by.
The Q & A was brief and there was no time devoted to rants on any topic. The feeling in the room, from my subjective observations, involved: Excitement; a strong interest in being at the meeting and in getting information; a sense of shared interests and concerns; and a shared sense of community.
It was great, in my subjective view, when speakers used a mic to share their views; it was sometimes less than ideal when a mic was not used because when any person claims that they have a powerful voice that works great without a mic, the people at the back may not be aware of that claim. I’ve covered scores of events and meetings as a blogger for many years; in my estimation, a great sound system – assuming it’s actually used – makes a big difference in communications with an audience. It’s so much easier for everybody, when everybody in a room can hear every word, without straining to hear what’s being said.
Those are some quick impressions; I may have left some key things out.
Long Branch Historical Society
During the Q & A, a question arose briefly, namely: Does the Long Branch Historical Society still exist? The following post from some years back highlights my own, subjective understanding of the back story related to this topic:
It’s my understanding that the LBHS is dormant, as a result of organizational issues that became evident a few years ago, issues that I personally encountered on a first-hand basis; the state of affairs that I encountered was not of a nature where I, for one, would ever want to do volunteer work of any kind; it’s my sense that maybe in 20 years, maybe sooner, the society might be revived. A new, younger generation of Long Branch residents has the capacity to take on any task, of this nature, and turn it into a reality.