More About HVRA
News: HVRA President Gus Sinclair passes the torch to Tim Grant at October/2009 AGM
In this section of our site, you will find first of all a chronology of how HVRA came into being over the period 1999 to 2000 — this is “The Story of HVRA”.
Second, you will find the HVRA Constitution, a homegrown document composed and written over the period of approximately one year by a committee struck by our predecessor organization Sussex Ulster Residents’ Association. The Committee’s mandate was to re-invent the Residents’ Association structure for our catchment area. It really is a fine piece of work and it has been an excellent guide in setting HVRA on a the path to success.
Third, you will find the minutes of all Board Meetings since 2006 plus the minutes of the Spring General Meeting and the Annual General Meetings for those years as well.
There are minutes of our meetings prior to that and we will attempt to recover them and put them on the site for completeness.
Finally, all good constitutions have amendments that follow the adoption of that constitution and it is these additional documents that help define particular policies surrounding specific issues not dealt with in the constitution itself. Over the years, the HVRA board has identified and tackled some thorny issues with a view to capturing a statement of policy of what HVRA’s goals should be with respect to these issues and how those goals might be implemented . “The Patio Protocol”, “ The Conflict Resolution Protocol” and the document “HVRA and Zoning” are just such items and help flesh out how HVRA goes about its work
Rory ‘Gus’ Sinclair
Hail and Fairwell
HVRA President Gus Sinclair passes the torch to Tim Grant at AGM
Message from Gus
Some of you will have seen my valedictory in the Fall Newsletter and some will have heard my thoughts on a decade of being your Chair at the AGM on October 20. I have been asked to put some more words to the passing of the torch from me to the new Chair Tim Grant and so here goes.
Without question being your Chair has been one of the most rewarding bits of public service I have ever done. But at the same time I have to say that I did not come to the job with a whole bunch of ideas of what I wanted HVRA to do... rather I had ideas of how things might be set up that would be attractive enough to the membership to encourage them to participate in community building activities. Let me explain:
One of the phrases that I have found personally useful over the years is: “As you are able, set conditions in social situations where people can be at their best.” So how does that translate into being the kind of Chair that I thought would work for me? Well for one thing, it meant coming to the job with not so much of an agenda of specific programmes as much as setting up ‘infrastructure’ or preconditions where good work could be done. Put another way, I thought that if the atmosphere was right, the specific programmes would take care of themselves.
To my mind, these background things involved some simple nuts and bolts items such as making sure meetings begin and end on time, keeping a speakers list when many wanted to speak at once, gently encouraging people to back off controversial matters to allow for further study, engaging in consensus politics as much as possible but when a vote has to be taken, ensuring that the ‘losing side’ has been made to feel that their arguments were fully explored and heard. I thought that if I were able to do some of these things, the specifics of the programming would naturally arise from the members who would not just present the ideas of what we might wish to do but also take ownership of the projects in the bargain.
Sometimes I thought of it as being made Captain of a ship where I was not particularly interested in the destination — I wanted you, the crew, to decide that. What my deal with you was that I would get you there without a mutiny.
So that is what I set about doing. Did I know it would work the way it seems to have? No I did not. I was as surprised as I was tickled that folks just seemed to respond to the offer of a safe place to help their community grow. Do I think that my methodology is the make or break item for the success of HVRA? Not really. It is a true partnership in the very real sense that you the members and your Chair really are equal allies in the enterprise — it cannot remotely go forward without you no matter how good the intentions of the Chair.
And now after a decade in office, it is time to step aside and make room for a new person to take the helm. There is no question that I could do this for another decade and make no mistake, I love the job — but good organizations do not do well if one person stays in a position for too long. There is enormous depth in HVRA and in the Board in particular and it is right that this depth be exploited.
Tim Grant agreed to take on the job and was elected at the AGM. We are so, so, SO lucky to have Tim, a man of enormous energy, talent and leadership skills, willing to step forward.... Tim is a long time member of the Board — he invented the Tree Committee which has a huge following in Harbord Village. Just the Tree Count alone shows Tim’s extraordinary leadership skill... That project I wager, has never been, nor ever will be bettered by any Residents’ Association in the nation... let alone Toronto.
So the passing on of the Presidency is a happy occasion as it should be in well run organizations. HVRA is strong, solvent, and ready for new challenges. Orderly change is a measure of the strength and health of our community and the organization that binds us together.
Let us go forward in good heart and may HVRA enjoy continued success.
Rory "Gus" Sinclair
Past President HVRA