Last Resort Society general meeting Feb 8, 11am

I encourage everyone to attend the February 8 Last Resort Society general meeting. It's important for the board to hear from community members, and it's important for community members to hear from the board.

If you are not comfortable speaking at a meeting, please consider writing your views down and sending them to the directors in an email or a letter:  healthcentre [at] lasqueti [dot] ca  or  #1 China Cloud Bay, Lasqueti Island, BC  V0R 2J0. There's also a comment/question submission form at https://www.judithfishercentre.com/contact.html

It is best is you speak or write openly and publicly, but if you can't bring yourself to do this, you can send emails and letters to me and I will forward them to the LLRS after removing your identifying information. I'll also post them on the Lasqueti web site.

Please be considerate and polite. Each of the board members and other people involved in the projects and operations is working to the best of their abilities, in what they consider to be the best interests of the community.

Thank you for your contribution to this community discussion.   Peter

 

Comments

My report on LLRS public meeting Saturday

My report on Lasqueti Last Resort Society general meeting Saturday

I have expressed these concerns to the Lasqueti Last Resort Society board members, and to the public meeting on Saturday. I’m expressing them here to encourage other community members to express any concerns that they have, or to tell me that they don’t have any, and I should stop worrying and complaining.

I want to start by saying that I appreciate the huge amount of work and time that so many people have put into the Lasqueti Last Resort Society and the Health Centre and other facilities at the Judith Fisher Centre. Their time and energy is greatly appreciated, and what they have created so far is being used and enjoyed by the community, and offers us a pleasant and comfortable meeting room and nursing facilities and other services for community members and organizations, especially the Recycling Centre and the Fire Department. Everyone is acting in good faith, and doing their best.

I have attended the last three recent LLRS board meetings, and I am very glad to be able to report that they have been getting much more open and informative.

There were just over a dozen (I think 14) members of the public in attendance, along with three directors in person, and one (at least) on the phone.

I was by far the longest and most demanding and critical participant from the public.
The Lasqueti Last Resort Society has, I believe, lost a significant amount of support from the Lasqueti community, for several reasons.

Lack of information gives me the impression that the board is being private and secretive rather than public. They have agreed to put all the documents and submissions from Saturday’s meeting on their web site. I’d like them to also give ample notice of board meetings, along with the agenda, and to post minutes of the meetings and reports (in draft form at first) so that anyone interested can read them. I’d also like them to welcome the public to their board meetings.

When they needed public funding to carry on operating, LLRS said they wanted “up to $45,000 per year” from Lasqueti property taxes. I thought that they needed something like $20,000, to operate the Health Centre, and that the request gave them a comfortable cushion for the future, if needed. They immediately said they needed, and received, the whole amount (though $2,500 is kept by qRD to pay administrative costs that they incur. $42,500 is over $800 every week from Lasqueti taxpayers.

Financial reporting and accounting, to me, are not adequate and complete. There is no long or medium-term business plan that I have seen or heard about. Annual budget proposals are vague and unsupported by information about previous years’ budgets and spending. They could use someone with this sort of experience, or willing to learn it, to help them.

I have concerns that the LLRS board are going ahead to build the duplex so that they can rent two residences out and get just over $15,00 more income each year (and provide housing service for the community). They believe that when the building starts, the financial and community support to complete them will come forth. I worry that it might not. If it doesn’t, they might have a not-yet finished building and no money to finish it, or to operate the current facilities.

When there are three residences available, will they all be needed and used? How many old and infirm people will be unable to live in their own home, and choose to move to the Judith Fisher Centre to live, rather than to somewhere (Vancouver Island or beyond) where there is accommodation with multiple services easily and conveniently available, including medical care when needed? The community (not necessarily LLRS) might want to help make more services available here, so that Lasqueti people in need can live at the JFC, or in their own home, with increasing needs. We live in a very small, rural community, so this will be difficult.

The cost of operating the JFC facilities is very high. During the heating season, there is a need for two hours of labour a day, loading and starting the boiler, and doing other work. That’s $50 a day which adds up to $1,500 per month (plus EI and CPP, which seem to be something like 20% on top of the wage).

I believe this labour cost continues year-round, not just in the heating season, because systems need to be monitored and checked. That’s $18,000 a year in wages, minimum, plus something over $3,500 for EI/CPP contributions.

Winter is the season when there is least solar energy available, and the greatest demand for electricity. Most of the electricity needed is provided by diesel generator. The boiler needs electrical power, and there’s a huge amount of electricity needed to pump the hot water to where it’s needed to heat the buildings. The water treatment system takes significant amounts of electricity, too. And electricity and heat are being provided, for a fee, to the Recycling Centre and the Fire Hall.

I worked with Bruce and Shelley a couple of years ago, at the request of the LLRS board, to look for savings and efficiencies. We made a report to the board, but heard nothing from them. Our report used to be on the web site, but I can’t find it now.

One thing that we recommended was that they look into the costs (capital and operating) of installing a propane heater in the Health Centre. There is already one in the existing cottage. This would allow flexibility, especially in the shoulder season: the rooms in the Health Centre could be heated only when they are needed, and there would be redundancy, a back-up system in case something goes wrong in the Service Building and its complicated and expensive infrastructure. It would also require far less labour and far less electricity to heat the building, and would save a considerable amount of money. Currently the heating is being largely done with diesel and wood.

If you have similar doubts or concerns, or different ones, please express them. If they are expressed, they can be considered and addressed by the directors and the community. If you don’t have concerns, I’ll stop worrying and complaining or suggesting (at least for a while).

Thanks for reading this, and for responding. Peter

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