There were 5 commissioners present this meeting; Commissioners Cameron and Enns were away.
The following is some colour on the thoughts I had regarding select board business of the day:
1. A staff recommendation to deny a donation request from a society that specialized in dealing with inner-city kids in the Vancouver (Mount Pleasant) area was rejected 3-2 (Commissioners Hall and Woodrow in support). While I sympathize with the project, our limited gifting resources must have some sort of effect in our local area. I see no connection with this organization and Cultus Lake Park and I opposed the motion.
2. We received the 2010 management letter from KPMG and they have identified that there are issues with the information systems that Sunnyside Campground uses versus the accounting system. This is something that staff is looking at rectifying, as it will streamline our accounting process of our largest revenue source. We have dealt with many finance and accounting-related challenges over the past couple years, but we are systematically addressing them with diligence and Cultus Lake Park is in a much better position today because of these efforts.
3. We approved 5-0 the request for Theresa Brooks’ wedding quiet time to be changed to 2:00am. If you are reading this, have a good wedding! I hope the skies are clear that day.
4. We approved 4-1 (Commissioner Woodrow opposed) fees for parking permits, including those that are lost or stolen. We have taken efforts to significantly improve our capacity management with respect to parking in peak season and this will be a learning process as we continue to optimize procedures. What we have seen now is a good first step and we will take the lessons learned and continue building on our progress in 2012 and beyond. It is an iterative process and one that will hopefully result in smoother flow, higher capacity, better security and revenues for the park to keep our facilities maintained for our million visitors.
5. An encroachment application was approved 5-0. The applicant, later in question period, brought up a policy issue concerning our handling of encroachments – it essentially boils down to whether the park board should choose to seek and identify all encroachments, “grandfather” encroachments, or ignore encroachments. All three policy streams have their pluses and minuses, but all three decisions will make some segment of people unhappy. It is unfortunately a zero sum decision.
6. Question period went the full 30 minutes. Some were disappointed that they could not ask questions, but they can always be emailed to any commissioners including myself, or our staff if asking questions at the board meeting is not your element.
Something that was made apparent in the question period was the issue of parking boat trailers. The current bylaw prohibits standalone boat trailers to be parked, while boat trailers attached to working vehicles are allowed. I do not know the history behind the rationale of this, but it is something that will be investigated and hopefully an amicable solution will be developed as we review things when the summer rush season is over.
A certain LK brought up the point that when the boundary survey in 1980 (or 1982) was performed in Cultus Lake, there were some property boundaries that were discovered to have significant differences. I remarked that it reminded me about a particular USA-Canada border issue when the 45th parallel border (southern portion of Quebec) was surveyed. I was struggling to think of the name, but after checking, it was called “Fort Blunder“:
Construction was begun on the first fort at this location, an octagonal structure with 30 foot high walls, in 1816 to protect against an attack from British Canada such as that which led to the Battle of Plattsburgh in 1814. In July 1817, President James Monroe visited the incomplete fortification and the adjacent military reservation known locally as “the commons”. However, due to an earlier surveying error it was later found that this first fort was inadvertently built on the Canadian side of the border, resulting in its sometimes being better known as “Fort Blunder”. When a new survey discovered that the 45th parallel was actually located some three-quarters of a mile south, effectively placing the fort in Canada, all construction on this first fort stopped and the site was abandoned. Much of its material was scavenged by the locals for use in their own homes and public buildings. No evidence has come to light that this first fort was ever named, with most contemporary documents simply referring to it as the “works”, “fortification”, or “battery” at Rouse’s Point. It is often mistakenly referred to as Fort Montgomery. The site of the first fort was listed on the National Register of Historic Places under the name “Fort Montgomery” in 1977.