At its May 27 annual general meeting, Action Sandy Hill elected a new president, Susan Khazaeli, who will replace Susan Young who is stepping down after two years in office.
Susan Khazaeli is originally from Toronto and moved to Sandy Hill for her doctoral studies at Ottawa U. She fell in love with the neighbourhood — its history, architecture, ethnic diversity, and bilingualism — and decided to stay. As a mother of two young children living in the northern part of Sandy Hill, she is concerned by the health and safety issues related to discarded syringes and drug paraphernalia. At her son’s daycare a needle was found by a preschooler who then had to be tested for hepatitis and HIV.
While Ms Khazaeli recognizes the many issues that the rising student population has raised for Sandy Hill, she is concerned that not enough attention is given to the adverse effects of the shelters and harm reduction services in the area.
Ms Khazaeli would also like to help ASH expand its membership and promote an enhanced sense of community. She looks enviously at what the Glebe has been able to achieve especially with the Great Glebe Garage Sale and the like. That said, she recognizes that ASH will likely have to wait until after the pandemic to pursue such ambitions.
For the second year in a row, the annual general meeting was held virtually. In previous years, the association’s AGM attracted a sizeable crowd to the Sandy Hill Community Centre and was an opportunity to meet our elected representatives at the municipal, provincial and federal levels as well as to hear ASH’s annual report. This year, ASH streamlined the agenda to focus on the business of the AGM.
Last year again was a busy year for the ASH board despite being at less than full strength throughout the year. Once again, issues related to planning and development took up most of the attention. Still, among other things, ASH also sponsored a set of guided walks, maintained 11 planters and flower beds throughout the neighbourhood, published a regular newsletter for its members, liaised regularly with our Councillor Fleury, City officials, the University of Ottawa and members of other community associations, administered the skating rink, and started planning for the construction of a new gazebo in Strathcona Park.
The AGM elected new members to the board to replace those who are stepping down (Susan Young, Paula Tchen and Claude Jobin). Besides Susan Khazaeli, these are Peggy Ducharme (formerly with the Rideau BIA), long-time resident Jan Finlay and Will Milner.
Volunteer of the Year
At every AGM, ASH recognizes an individual based on outstanding contributions to the community. This year, it is Rob Sinclair for his tireless efforts to make the Rideau Winter Trail a success.