THIS EDITION OF THE VERMONTER IS KINDLY SPONSORED BY THEO AGENBAG AND ONRUS PHARMACY. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
CHAIRMAN - VERMONT RATEPAYERS ASSOCIATION
Hello Vermont residents.
A New Year, a new VRA Executive Committee, and a new Chairman! As much of this edition of our newsletter is devoted to the recent AGM, my first ‘From the Chairman’ comment will be brief.
As elaborated on below, our Committee is very thin on the ground at present. Nevertheless, there is a lot we want to do for Vermont, and the residents of our wonderful suburb. So we will do our best to live up to your expectations, but may fall short at times. We will keep you in touch with what we are doing, in this newsletter, as the year passes.
In closing, I’m sure you are well aware of the worrying water situation in the Overstrand-the dam level now down to 32%. So please continue doing your bit to conserve this precious resource.
JOHN BOWMAN - CHAIRMAN
VERMONT RATEPAYERS ASSOCIATION AGM
A successful AGM was held on 3RD December 2010. The meeting was well attended, and the Acting Chairman Don McDonald, delivered a comprehensive report on the Association’s challenges and achievements during 2010. During his address Don extended thanks to those who had made a difference in Vermont: Deon Louw for continuing to keep Vermont clean and tidy, Cllr Ben Solomon, Hans van Rensburg for his efforts at removing kelp from Brekvis-baai, and those who had sponsored the Vermonter during 2010: Aida, Onrus Pharmacy, ADT, and Whale Printing.
He also summarised what each of the 2010 Executive Committee had done during the past year, and thanked them. A special word of thanks to Anita Taylor, who has done on an outstanding job during her two and a half year tenure as Secretary (but has now ‘retired’ in view of the arrival of her twins). This was followed by the Treasurer’s report, presented by Len Greenfield. This depicted a healthy situation, but he stressed that we do need donations, to remain viable. Next was the election of the Committee for 2011, and a lively question and answer session. We then enjoyed a most interesting and informative presentation on ‘The Birds of Vermont’ by Mike Ford. This brought home again one of the joys of living in Vermont. Afterwards it was time for wine and snacks with the Committee. We were very pleased that both the new Overstrand Mayor, Nicolette Guthrie-Botha-who lives in Vermont-and our Ward Councillor, Ben Solomon, attended the meeting-the latter responding to several points raised by the Acting Chairman, and the former making extensive notes, which I’m sure will be followed up on.
Much of the Acting Chairman’s report related to two major Vermont Issues: Our concerns at the high toll of accidents on the R43 in our area, and the problems relating to speed humps, which are discussed at length at the Ward Committee meetings. It was pointed out by Don, and also by Paul Pfister, that until a long term solution to the R43 problems could be implemented, we would have liked the Municipality/Province to introduce low cost immediate measures (such as a lower speed limit, and speed cameras). Cllr Solomon responded that Province would not agree to a lower speed limit, speed cameras were to be installed, and importantly, he stated that Province had budgeted for a traffic light at the R43/Vermont Ave intersection to be in place by the end of April, 2011.
As far as speed humps are concerned, Cllr Solomon agreed with Don that residents must use the correct channels to request speed humps, and must be reasonable in their requests. We do already have a large number of these in Vermont. Commenting on the relatively low budget available for Vermont from the Overstrand Municipality, Cllr Solomon pointed out that the reason for the low allocation was that Vermont was a fairly new and smaller suburb, compared to others in the Overstrand. So maintenance was not as much of an issue.
Turning to the election of the 2011 Committee, this was the one disappointing aspect of the AGM: There was a lack of enthusiasm by residents to want to get involved, and join our Committee- notwithstanding their eager participation in the question and answer session. We have room for ten Committee members. We were under strength all year. With the ‘retirement’ of Anita and Don from the Committee, we were down to five members-who were all re-elected: John Bowman, Hein Möller, Len Greenfield, Marie van Heerden, and Paul Pfister. Notwithstanding appeals for more potential members to come forward, from Don, Paul, and myself, not one resident volunteered. This places quite a burden on the remaining five members.
We urgently therefore appeal for volunteers. In particular we would like some-one to take on the role of Secretary. Thanks very much for helping out with this job meanwhile, Marie. Please contact me on 028 316 4815 if you are able to assist.
And finally, a special word of thanks for the work Don McDonald has done as Chairman and Acting Chairman for the past two years. Much appreciated!
VOS COASTAL PATH UPDATE
I have received the following news from the VOS chair, Avril Steenkamp:
‘There is not much to report back as far as VOS is concerned. We have not built any more path and are waiting for the Municipality to call for new tenders and do their bit. I believe that this will be before April but who knows?(Eds’ Note: This should have happened by the end of 2010, but there was a late problem with the tenders)
As you will have seen in the Hermanus Times, we had that bad spell of vandalism and are in the process of having 13 tiles re-made. Peta will have them done in a week or two as she started making them immediately.
The VOS Committee and the Overstrand Municipality have offered a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators. No one has come forward yet.
I have had lots of positive feed back during the holidays regarding the “enjoyable walks along the VOS Coastal Path” '
THANK YOU! AND FRIDAY NIGHT BRAAIS
A number of other ‘thank you‘s’. First of all, to all those Vermonters who made generous donations to the VRA at the AGM. Then to Maureen McDonald and Sheelagh Bowman for producing the snacks, at short notice, for the AGM.
To Paul Pfister, Heino Spreng and Kurt Neilson for organising the Friday evening braais at Vermont Pan. And to CCS Plant Hire for producing the portable toilets at the Pan, whenever necessary. Incidentally, these braais will be held through the summer month every second Friday.
Watch out for the signs from Vermont Ave. For those who haven’t attended one of the braais before, they are a great Vermont institution. Come along between 6 and 6.30, bringing your food and drinks, and chairs. A braai fire is available at R5 per couple.
ADT SAFETY TIPS - SAFETY MEASURES TO TAKE AROUND THE SWIMMING POOL by HEIN MÖLLER
Never allow children to swim alone without any adult supervision.
Do not allow children with no knowledge of swimming in, or around, the pool.
Make sure that all kids above the age of four attend a certified swimming class, or at least learn basic flotation and life saving techniques in case of accidents.
Children younger than four should always be accompanied by their parents in the pool.
Ensure that your gardener and domestic worker are also familiar with basic safety around the pool.
Keep your pool clean and well lit, green murky pools may be difficult to see at night.
Enclose your pool with a fence, with a self closing gate with self latching mechanisms that are out of reach of young children.
When using a cover for a pool make sure it is properly secured. Do not let children walk on pool covers.
When using the pool remove the cover completely as it is possible that one could get entangled in the netting while swimming.
As a pool owner you should at least have a basic understanding of CPR techniques and have a flotation device near the pool in case of emergency.
VRA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR 2011
At the first meting of the VRA Excom, held on 18th January, the following were the Office Bearers and Portfolios agreed on:
JOHN BOWMAN Chairman, Vermonter, Coastal Path and Jan Rabie Pool Mngt
HEIN MOLLER Vice-Chairman, Ward Committee, Property Mngt, Data Base
LEN GREENFIELD Treasurer, Melkhout Park, De Wet Hall Committee representative
MARIE VAN HEERDEN Acting Secretary, Vermont Conservation Trust (VCT), Salt Pan
PAUL PFISTER Ward Committee Alternate, Safety and Security, Media, VOS representative
As you will see, each member carries quite a few responsibilities.
Partly in response to the above challenge, the Executive Committee of the VRA has agreed with the Vermont Conservation Trust to investigate the potential for the two bodies to work more closely together in future. A small committee made up of representatives of both bodies will look into the scope for such a closer working relationship. With the scarce resources available to both bodies, this means that these resources will be used to the optimum in future and we will avoid any duplication of activities.
DATA BASE AND CONTRIBUTIONS
Thanks to Hein Moller, our data base of Vermont residents who now receive the newsletter by e-mail has expanded to over 500. If you are still not receiving it this way please send your address to Hein at; email@example.com. Finally, we always welcome contributions to the newsletter, in English or Afrikaans. Please e-mail them to me.