Board of Director’s Meeting – Minutes
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Location: Online via Zoom 6:30 p.m.
Attendees: Ian Campbell (IC), Eric Chabot (EC), Sara Bergsma (SB), Eric Parris (EP), Julie Rock (JR), Margaret Lara (ML), Rachel Shuttleworth (RS)
Regrets: Kristina Tesser Derksen (KTD), Colin Best (CB), Miguel Gonsalves (MG), Joe Taglieri (JT)
Guest: Tom Dusmet (TD), Michael Falcone (MF)
Michael Falcone introduced himself, professional background, past BIA experience.
SB called the meeting to order at 6:41 p.m.
SB asked the board if there was any declaration of pecuniary interest or conflict of interest. None were made.
Motion to accept the previous meeting minutes by IC, seconded by EP. Motion passed.
Treasurer’s Report (delivered by RS)
- MG will be sending financial update along in the next couple days.
- Town in process of closing the books for 2022 so we should have our final numbers for the year soon.
- Expenses are normally low in January because our focus is on administration and planning for the year ahead. No major beautification or event expenses for this month.
Council Reports (delivered by RS)
- 2023 Town budget passed on January 23, with Town portion of taxes increasing by 7.99% ($31 per $100k in property assessment). Includes increases for fire department, improvements to transit and two new busses, camera technology to prevent speeding.
- Town will be doubling the Community Fund amount (from $250k to $500k) to support community groups hosting festivals and activities.
- Milton has lowest tax rate in the GTA and second lowest in the province.
- Parking lot between Knox and Chudleigh’s – Town has renewed agreement to sublet that space and use it as a temporary municipal lot. We often use that lot for events.
- KTD is the chair for MEDAC. They are renewing their membership and meetings will begin again soon. BIA should be involved in their discussions and provide small business perspective.
- 2023 budget has been approved at the Region. Has a 3.7% tax rate increase.
- Visit Halton.ca for details on budget.
- EP moved to accept the council reports. IC seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Executive Director’s Report (RS)
- Selected a consultant from the BIA world to help with the posting, applicant reviews and first interviews. The ED position should go back to full-time now because we’ve grown our budget (through alternative revenue sources), our portfolio of events and scale of our projects.
- Salary range would be consistent with most recent OBIAA salary survey. We don’t offer benefits.
- TD – Can Town extend health benefits? Do other BIAs offer benefits?
- RS – It would come from our budget. Some BIAs have benefits and/or bonuses, and some don’t.
- MF – Is there room to increase overall salary if needed? Would it be a permanent role or contract?
- RS – It’s a permanent position. Purpose of some of the Town contribution to our events was to go towards staffing so we can better handle larger events. Some of the event work can be done by coordinator staff and some of it (ie sponsorship) requires a senior staff person.
- SB – Hiring someone who can raise funds would mean they can help pay for their own salary and then some. We can’t go beyond the top end of the range and that aligns with what other BIAs are paying. SB, EC and RS supporting with posting & selection process.
- EC moved to accept proposal for ED hiring strategy including the recommended salary range and to hire the consultant to support in the process. IC seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Operating Calendar for 2023
- Events – Focus for Q1 is administration, event planning, prep for the rest of the year, Farmers’ Market will be back on Main this year and we’ll participate, SummerFest in June, smaller activations in the summer ie Music on Main, concert series partnership, patios. Later in year could explore a Taste of Downtown type event/campaign to host in Q1 2024.
- Marketing & promotions – We are active on social media, media relations, advertising. Not continuing with Discover Downtown Milton guide but will do a more regular community newsletter (less labour intensive and gives us more frequent contact with community). Applying for awards this year. Sponsor promotions throughout the year and will implement a winter light sponsorship program.
- Member database – Maintain and update member contact info. Moving to OBIAA’s new CRM system.
- Member community & support – Regular newsletter to members, did a survey in Q1, AGM in fall.
- Attraction of new businesses – Share listings, maintain relationships.
- Advocacy – Maintain relationships with government, support members, attend OBIAA conference.
- BIA-managed infrastructure – Disposed of wreaths, plant and maintain gardens, maintain winter lights (do one or two service calls a year), ongoing litter clean-up.
- Collaborate with town on town-owned assets – Notify town of graffiti, dead trees, waste issues, lights out, garbage.
- Sponsorship – Q1 focus on sponsor outreach for all programs. Included a place-holder for winter event.
- Administration – HR, finances, D&O insurance research, policy updates. Canada Summer Jobs funding and other possible funding.
- MF – How often do you do member surveys?
- RS – After each event we do online surveys of our members and the public. Sometimes we do membership wide surveys on key items (we go door-to-door as needed to increase participation).
- Notified by the funder that we are likely able to charge additional staff time (which was previously unclaimed) to our public art project. Some paperwork is going to be needed for this.
Police and graffiti
- Met with police recently and they suggested two ways to help reduce graffiti downtown is more lighting and ensuring graffiti is cleaned up quickly.
- Could consider using all or part of the above funding to do a campaign to help our members remove graffiti from their buildings. Could make a visible difference downtown and be relatively easy to administer. Recommend just doing it for members (not for municipally-owned infrastructure).
- Some corporate partners expressed interest in possibly doing some public artwork on their utility boxes.
- EP – Do we know who the perpetrators are?
- RS – Police said a lot of them are students. Property owners and businesses aren’t filing reports about graffiti. Police only have three recent reports on file (one of them is ours) and there have been a lot more incidents than that. Police said they come down as much as they can but have limited resources available.
- TD – Are there cameras downtown?
- RS – Some property owners have cameras and some have submitted footage to us from those. In order for footage to be entered as evidence the person who took it needs to be willing to identify themselves and that’s not always the case.
- MF – Could there also be an education piece so owners know how to submit a police report. Having more people submit reports could maybe entice police to put more resources towards monitoring the downtown. Could members be encouraged to put up more lighting?
- RS – Planned for police to speak to our members at our AGM in September 2022 but the officer had to cancel due to illness. They provided a powerpoint with the information that we shared with members. More education could be helpful – workshop, meeting, etc.
- MF – Some BIAs have a section of a wall/canvas that people are allowed to tag.
- RS – One of the officers is looking into funding for a police-supported public art program for downtown in partnership with schools. Allows kids to do the artwork legally.
- Explored a solar lighting option for the parkette (that space is so dark at night). Have been asking Town to do infrastructure updates to the parkette. Need our councillors to take it from here if we want this to move forward. Town considering a solar light pilot project with a local entrepreneur. RS asked Town to install a light in the parkette for the pilot but haven’t gotten confirmation. We could contribute towards the project but not our property or area of expertise so best for the town to lead.
- Recommend that we register for a ticket for the conference for the new ED. Early bird rate is up at the end of February. Early bird rate is $775. Plus hotel. Last year a couple of our board members attended for the day as well.
- Conference targets BIA board and staff – great learning and networking. Happening in London.
- SB – Best to start with one ticket now. Can buy more tickets later for day rate if needed.
- Supplier reached out to ask if we want more snowflakes.
- Board recommends no more snowflakes at this time.
- Had an initial meeting with possible partner for this year’s winter event. Went well and there is interest on both sides in exploring further. Would need to get further into day of the week, location, responsibilities, costs and determine if partnership could work.
- SB – Suggestion to get some more information about what they would pay, do and then we decide.
- JR moved to accept the ED report. EP seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- EC moved to adjourn. EP seconded the motion. Motion passed.
- Meeting adjourned at 7:41 pm.