A Community Association

Coalmont has had several attempts at a community organization in the past, but there is none now. Lately there has been talk of setting up a ratepayers association so that we can speak with one voice when needed or wanted. A meeting was called and, although an official name has yet to be chosen, the results were very encouraging.

Following is a report on the proceedings at the inaugural meeting 7pm November 22, 2011 Coalmont Hotel. Chris Goodfellow chaired the meeting and our Area ‘H’ director, Brad Hope was on hand. There were 26 people present.

Brad Hope explained the concept of a community association, how to form one and what it can, and cannot do. He also talked about the kind of funding that we could get and gave examples of what was going on in other communities.

The Aquatic Centre Referendum was discussed as an example of a situation where a community association could have helped us by giving members a heads-up and disseminating relevant information. Ole Juul pointed out that the new community bulletin board which was provided by the Mozey-On-Inn has already been very successful in helping us communicate.

The idea of a quorum was discussed. What does it mean and what number should it be.

Communication with members, particularly those who weren’t present or were out of town, was discussed. Inclusivity was a big concern. It was decided to start making a list of community members so that they could be contacted with information, both now and in the future. Some people preferred e-mail and some telephone. It was noted that some have neither and that, in any case, we should also consider using mailouts.

Fern Aguillon mentioned that there had been a community association in the 1960s, but that it had just dwindled.

The meeting then came to a point where Chris asked if we should have a vote now; how many positions, and so on. The number of executive positions was a matter of concern to many, some believing that it was important to have a larger number in order to make it more democratic. Others felt that a larger number would not be sustainable for such a small community, and in any case the executive should not be making decisions on the part of the membership. Once it was understood that we could operate without giving power to an executive and that all decisions would be made at publicised meetings with a sizable quorum, everyone was in favour of forming an association. Considering the small community, it was agreed that a quorum of 15 was large enough to be democratic and small enough to be achieved.

Bob Sterne then proposed three motions which were passed with a large majority. They were:
1- There should be 4 meetings a year where the executive bring issues to the group.
2- A meeting needs a quorum of 15 members present in order to make any decision.
3- The executive positions will be, Chair, Vice Chair, SecretaryTreasurer

These were all seconded and passed. The first two were unanimous, and the third had two dissenting.

Nominations were made, and the result of a vote was the following:
Secretary Treasurer – Penny Goodfellow
Vice Chair – Ernie Rice
Chair – Ole Juul

The public meetings will be held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. The next one will be 7pm January 17. It is hoped that we can use the Coalmont Hotel again, but this cannot be confirmed at this time because the new operators are not here yet and have not been contacted.

As to who should be included in the membership, it was agreed that everybody who lives, or owns land, right in Coalmont as well as the surrounding area should have a say. Although almost all residents are land owners in Coalmont, that is not a requirement for membership. When discussing this, Ron Jones summed it up when he said “everybody”.

Chris then collected e-mail addresses and phone numbers for all those present and it was agreed that we should work on getting contact information for as many people as possible and make an effort to inform them of the next meeting. It was also decided that the Area Director has a permanent invitation to the meetings

By the end of the meeting the mood was very positive and there was a general feeling that something good had just happened.

It should be noted that there is much to be decided by the group and all of the above needs to be firmed up at future meetings. The idea was to get something going. Chris Goodfellow was particularly instrumental in pulling this together. §