Date: September 26, 2012

Location: Heritage Room, Terrace on the Square, Waterloo

Attendees: Ernie Reiter, Mike Magreehan, Grant Russell, Ted Harris, Nancy Collins, Detlaf Blankschein, Cheryl Ives, Janice Moore
Absent: Rennie Brudnjak, Hardy Willms


Topic #1: Moving Forward as a Group of Concerned Citizens

Everyone in attendance wants to continue working together as a group. The main purpose of the group will evolve over time. At this time, we have stated two key areas that we are working on together.

1)        Support Council by keeping track of the City's responses and actions on the CBTF report and recommendations
·        Create our own report card and present to Council, publish to local media regularly
·        Produce periodic Op Eds, reports and presentations to Council about key issues, especially Pensions and Infrastructure Deficit

2)        Challenge any assumptions by city staff, council and citizens that taxes must rise as the primary means to achieve ongoing progress
·        This is an undercurrent or underlying motivation expressed in all forms of communication on the issues

Some conversational notes on these key areas:
·        Within each area, there are specific areas of interest that sub-groups, task groups or individuals may take on as a special interest on behalf of the group, doing more research, writing or publicity on those areas. Pensions and Library have been raised as two such
·        Although we can keep an eye on Region of Waterloo, the purpose of this group will be supporting the City of Waterloo's budget and planning processes
·        Are we trying to change City Operations or Public Opinion? Possibly both, but doing one should affect the other. Acting first as a support to Council, and then ensuring our concerns, reports, activities and communications are publicized in various forms, will affect public opinion while maintaining credibility as a supportive, rather than oppositional, force
·        We don't want cutting. We care about quality of life, affordability and economic efficiency. We want to help council achieve a good balance considering all these things
·        Communicating to council regularly is important for credibility
·        We want to influence budgets going forward, and election issues, but not election outcomes. We will not endorse candidates but may ensure they are asked appropriate questions during campaigns.
·        We want to be out in the open. Karen Scian is aware of the group, but we want to formally introduce ourselves to Council and the Public as soon as we have established a Chair, even if our first statement is only that we exist.
·        At the next meeting we will further discuss how we define ourselves to others and possibly strike a sub-group to establish the terms of reference

Topic #2: Membership

·        There is some need to limit the size of the body that meets regularly (suggestions of 8, 10 were made - since there are 10 of us now, we are starting there)
·        This does not preclude a larger community of involved citizens (Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council has this model - central council for decisions, bi-annual meeting for larger group, sub-groups draw on larger talent pool for specific activities, campaigns, etc.)
·        At this "forming" stage we will work with the current membership
·        If community members come forward and ask to participate in the group before we have better defined the structure, we will address that as it happens.
·        Colleen Haney has decided not to move forward with this group due to personal commitments
·        We will need to elect a Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary at the next meeting.
·        We need a catchier name - please bring ideas!
·        Daytime meetings and evening meetings are both difficult to schedule with participants. We will try a Saturday morning, monthly.


WHO                WHAT                                                                WHEN                COMPLETE?
Mike                Send out link to City Report Card                                09/30/12        Yes
ALL                Send Cheryl thoughts on the City's Report Card                10/11/12        NO
Cheryl                Send out Notes from meeting                                10/11/12        YES
Cheryl                Arrange location for next meeting                                10/11/12        YES
Cheryl         Compile thoughts on Report Card for next meeting        10/14/12        NO


Date: Saturday, October 14, 2012
Time: 9:30am
Location: Terrace on the Square, "Heritage Room"