Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April UNA Board of Directors' Meeting (election and parking)

April's meeting of the UNA Board of Directors was a quiet affair.  A range of housekeeping motions , from appointments to committees through to the legal equivalent passing forward a copy-edited version of the society's bylaws to the September AGM.  The most significant decision was to set the date of the next UNA Directors' Election:  September 24 (reproduced below).

Election - Seeking a second term 2014-2016

I will be seeking a second term on the UNA Board of Directors as an elected representative.  It's been an amzing and, at times, frustrating experience serving. 

I'll start with why I say frustrating first: put simply, the structure of the UNA thwarts just about any attempt to actually govern with a democratic mandate.  From appointed directors to restrictive contracts we truly serve at behest of the UBC Board of Governors.  But I knew that when I ran for office last time.  Real democratic changes will have to come externally and only with a provincial government that supports a full democratic franchise.

It's been an amazing experience working with a range of people from our residential community and the wider UBC community.  When Shoahung, Richard, and I first started as Directors we had a lot of community engagement working with us.   It was very positive working collaboratively toward the common goal of helping our community achieve its full potential.  While the people on the board have changed that same desire remains.  What has been most productive is a desire to recognize the importance of a diversity of perspective and opinion on the board.  Very often when one holds a minority position (i.e. the idea that the UNA should become more democratic)  one faces a lot of pressure to conform.  Our board has not done that; rather, we have worked to support diverse perspectives in our decision making process.

We have made some progress. Though I still believe our standing committee meetings should be held in public, we are at least making the agenda's public.  We have had several very successful Listen In sessions and have one more planned this May.  We have improved our management of the Campus Resident by establishing an Editorial Review Board that consists of the managing editor, the UNA secretary, and a community member.  Over the course of the past two years we have also seen further movement toward the construction of our second community centre in Westbrook Place, a softball field, and further open space improvements.  

There is much more to do.

In the coming months I look forward to continuing our discussion, meeting more folks, and winning your support and trust to serve for a second term as one of your elected directors on the UNA


Parking was again discussed (see report from UNA Executive Director in meeting package).  This is an ongoing issue that remains unresolved.  The fundamental problem is contradiction between a residential neighbourhood adjoining a large institution.  Two types of parking requirements clash leading to constant incursions from non-residents looking to "save thousands," as one young man explained to me as he walked away from his parked BMW.

From time to time I will speak with drivers who pull up in front of our home.  in the early morning, vehicle warm from a long commute.

"How much did your parking pass cost," I might ask.  Very often the young students climbing out of expensive late model cars cheerfully tell me (anywhere from $30-$100 is the typical answer).

"That's a lot for visiting a friend or family."

At this point the driver starts to suspect that there's more going on then a friendly chat between like minded drivers.   At this point a lot of back peddling starts, they explain their visiting someone.  They then typically scurry off into the bowels of the academic precinct.

I've learned a bit from this rapid assessment style ethnography.   Primarily, we have a modest, but persistent problem with residents SELLING visitor parking passes to non-residents.  Secondarily, most of these people are driving vehicles that imply they could actually afford to pay for on campus parking.  One driver told me it saves him $1,000 to park his BMW in front of my home.  Several others have complained to me that UBC parking rates are unfair (while parking a lexus, landrover, bmw, or mercedes).  Generally it seems to be young men, typically solo drivers, but occasionally a car pool load of folks.

All of the solutions to these parking problems focus upon us as residents, we end up with the costs of management and regulation.  Even there our capacity to effectively regulate the parking is restricted given the way in which UBC and the Province set up the development and control over roads. Just the same, it really seems to me to be incumbent upon UBC to pick up the ball (and the cost) of managing the parking since it is a UBC generated, not resident, problem.

2014 Election Policies and Procedures

1. List of Members

Each candidate is entitled to a copy of the list of UNA members in an Excel spreadsheet format.
  1. a. Before receiving the list, candidates must sign a statement agreeing that they will not use the list for any purpose other than the election.
  2. At the conclusion of the election, candidates are required to return the lists and to sign that they have destroyed all copies of the list that they have made.
  3. Candidates must contact the UNA office for a copy of the list, arrange to collect it, and sign the required statement.

2. The Campus Resident Newspaper

Candidates may choose to advertise in The Campus Resident newspaper.
  1. a. The Campus Resident newspaper which is distributed to all homes in the UNA will be published on Monday, August 18, 2014. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, August 13, 2014.
  2. All UNA election candidates will be profiled in the September edition of The Campus Resident. Should a candidate wish to purchase additional advertising, please contact the Editor, John Tompkins at or at 604.827.3502.

3. Election Signs

Candidates may choose to also advertise with signage in the private or public realm.
  1. In the private realm, candidates will make arrangements themselves with owners or landlords.
  2. In the public realm (parks, boulevards, sidewalks, etc), the UNA reserves the right to remove any campaign signs that may obstruct traffic, hinder pedestrian visibility, or generally create a hazard to the public.
  3. On the day of the election, candidates are not permitted to canvass or solicit votes within 100 metres of The Old Barn Community Centre (the location of the AGM + Election).
  4. All signs, flags, buttons, etc. that are within the 100 metres distance of the Old Barn Community Centre, must be removed before the day of the election. Election Officials will also monitor whether electors or candidate representatives entering The Old Barn Community Centre are wearing any campaign slogans.
  5. All election signs in the public realm must be removed no later than 24 hours after the election.

4. Voting Opportunities

UNA members will receive a notice no later than September 3, 2014 of the AGM that will be
held on September 24, 2014 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. With this notice, UNA members will
receive a ballot and instructions on voting options.
There are 2 options for voting:
  1. Ballot may be mailed (postage paid return envelope is provided).
  2. Ballot may be delivered to: the UNA Office during office hours until September 24, 2014 from Monday to Friday from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, or The Old Barn Community Centre on September 24, 2014 only from 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm. Ballots must be received before 7:00 pm on Wednesday, September 24, 2014.

5.  Candidate Representatives

Candidates may appoint a representative to scrutinize the count of the ballots on
September 24.
  1. a. A scrutineer appointment form must be completed. A blank appointment form is enclosed for this purpose.
  2. The count of ballots will take place at The Old Barn Community Centre office starting at 7:00 pm sharp on September 24. While observing the count, the scrutineer must be inside the sealed area before the doors are closed at 7:00 pm. Once inside they may not leave until the count is complete, unless permitted by the presiding election official.
  3. Scrutineers are not permitted to handle the ballots, but their objection to the acceptance or rejection of a vote, if not agreed to by the election official, will be duly noted for future consideration.

6. Declaration of Election Results

The official results of the vote are usually declared at the conclusion of the AGM, unless the
results are not available at that time.

7. Violation of Election Regulations

Candidates who contravene any election policies may be subject to Section 2.6 to 2.8 of the
UNA Constitution and Bylaws.

8. Candidates Briefing

A candidates briefing will be held on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 (date to be confirmed) from 7
pm to 9 pm that will be delivered by the Chair of the UNA or delegate [note current chair’s
term is ending in September] to outline the organizational structure of the UNA in relation to
the other governments who provide services in the area, and to inform prospective
candidates of the time commitment and responsibilities of Resident Directors. Registration
is required; please email by July 25, 2014.

9. All Candidates Meeting

An All Candidates Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 18, 2014 (date to be
confirmed) at 7 pm at The Old Barn Community Centre (6308 Thunderbird Blvd.)

10. New Resident Director Orientation

A mandatory new Resident Director’s orientation will be held on Thursday, October 9, 2014
(date to be confirmed) at the UNA Office. The first meeting of the new board will take place
on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at The Old Barn Community Centre
at which time the officers of the association will be elected from amongst the directors.

11. Monthly Board and Committee Meetings

Board meetings are held monthly on the second Tuesday from 5 pm to 7 pm. Regular
Standing Committee meetings of the Board are held monthly on the fourth Tuesday and
are scheduled at a time to accommodate the majority of the directors.