The Port Stanley BIA had their General Membership Planning Meeting at the Port Stanley
Arena on Wednesday, November 30th, 2016. The meeting's main objective was to gather
input from the membership for setting priorities, planning, and budgeting for the
coming year. Attending tonight's meeting included four Central Elgin senior staff,
Donald N. Leitch, Lloyd Perrin, Karen Harris, Dianne Wilson, and Councillor of Ward
1, Port Stanley Dan McNeil.
After introductions from Ted Halwa, current Chair of the Port Stanley BIA Board
of Management, Linda Snowden, BIA Executive member, gave a run down on the Marketing
and Promotion initiative's that the Port Stanley BIA will follow in the upcoming
year. She also brought up the need for a proper yearly business proposal to follow
to keep all BIA efforts focused, as the last one from 2012 was dated, and the need
to gather input from BIA members to create a unified One Port Stanley Marketing
Deb Kussmann, BIA Executive member, discussed the strategies that the BIA is currently
using in Social Media, and of the changes to the BIA website. She described the
current BIA efforts to gain a greater audience as being successful, and pointed
out that more members have to participate to keep the process going forward.
Vicci Coughlin, BIA Executive member, discussed events in Port Stanley, telling
the membership of the funds lost at this years Harbourfest, and that the BIA will
not pursue this event for 2017 alone, but would take a secondary position of support,
if someone else were to take on the Harbourfest event for 2017. She also pointed
out that more focus was to be added to the Christmas event as any event in the past
was not really a BIA sponsored event, and suggested that the membership should do
something in Port Stanley in 2017 to celebrate Canada 150.
Ted Halwa, BIA Executive Chair, talked about the need for improvement, beautification
and maintenance projects in Port Stanley such as refurnishing the "Horse Trough"
in front of the former Bank building, the "Post People" at intersections in the
Business Improvement Area, and painting of elements that have been neglected. Talk
about the new entrance sign into Port Stanley came up, asking why it was not in
yet, and the final chapter on that issue was told by Dan McNeil who said that it
was delayed, but would be installed in the Spring.
The most confusing issue brought up at the meeting was the possible changes to the
BIA Levy. With three or more possible choices to calculate members contributions,
it started a lengthy debate, that in the end, still had no direction. The main reason
for making changes to the Levy were not clear, and were suggested by some at the
meeting, that as the costs go up, so must the funds received from the Levy in order
to keep pace.
A distressing reoccurring issue that seemed to be a topic of discussion throughout
the evening was the lack of members participation in the meetings. With only 12
businesses out of 89 represented at the meeting, a true BIA membership driven agenda
would be hard to find.