Support for a Community Association

Have you seen the latest Discovery Islander?  There is an excellent article by Phil Stone that provides a useful cautionary tale that we can all learn from.  

We were very pleased to find four letters to the editor, with four different perspectives on why it’s the right time for Quadra to have a Community Association.  And why Marc is the best person to be the new Regional Director and work in partnership with that Community Association to get things done.  Only one of the writers (Betsy Young) was from our campaign team, pictured here.

The following is the letter from Betsy:

Why We Need a Community Association for Quadra Island….

We are very fortunate to have two very fine people running for the job of Regional Director for Area C.  Both of our candidates reflected their love for Quadra Island and our island culture at the recent Candidates Event and they each bring their commitment to preserve and protect what Quadra residents have inherited and built upon over previous decades. As I listened to the candidates, the main difference I could discern between these two Quadra champions was how they were going to engage with the community and work to advance our Area’s interests.

Two models are proposed: Robyn Mawhinney proposed an appointed Community Advisory Committee, charged with providing the Regional Director with community input, so informed decisions could be made by the Director and promoted at the SRD Director meetings. The other model, presented by Marc Doll, was of an elected, independent Community Association.  The Community Association seems to me, to be the more productive, effective, and democratic of the two models.

As I understand, a Community Association provides for the development of an island based organization, charged with the responsibility to become a network among the many volunteer groups on Quadra that advocate, research, and develop strategies for addressing the needs of the island as perceived by the islanders.  The idea of having a place where all the active volunteer groups could come together is very appealing. 

In the Community Association model, the Regional Director would work with the Community Association to develop island-based solutions to island problems.  This support could include brainstorming and networking as well as locating potential sources of untapped funding. The Community Association and the Regional Director would work together to develop creative solutions to island issues.  I see this model as a powerful, inclusive, independent and democratic structure, capable of fostering a relationship network more effectively than what is possible within the Community Advisory Committee model.

The Community Association of Quadra is yet to be built and that is exciting as it can be designed to meet the needs of the Island.  The selection of representatives will be open to any Quadra resident and bylaws can be crafted to ensure that representation is inclusive and diverse. Representation could include different business interests, different Quadra communities, different age groups, different service providers, etc.  How representative this association would be, depends upon what Quadra residents want. The Regional Director might also be able to locate grant “seed” money for the fledgling organization to help it get started.

Marc Doll is already demonstrating his leadership and devotion to Quadra by encouraging us to imagine a new way to get things done on Quadra…leadership by the people, for the people, aided by our elected official.

As an active Quadra volunteer, I know that inter-department/agency networks already exist on Quadra: ICAN, the Safety Committee, Quadra Circle, Emergency Support Services, etc and they demonstrate the importance of mutual support and organized response.  I am excited by how the Community Association would build on these grassroots organizations.  Working together, we all benefit.  “…the sum of us can accomplish far more than just some of us.”

When you vote on Saturday, October 15 for the person you want to become Regional Director of Area C, remember that you are also voting for the path forward for Quadra Island.

Betsy Young