The Massey Victory Heights Residents' Association has elected a new board of directors.
At its recent annual general meeting, the association elected its new board: Jason Lesage - president; Dennis Paulley - past president; Ian Brady - vice president; Larry Hill - treasurer; Donna Fraser, Paul Johansen, Bob Jones and Terry Tomcko - directors.
The position of secretary is currently unfilled.
Lesage said he is looking forward to the coming year as head of the association.
"I'm very proud of my neighbourhood," he said. "I'm looking forward to engaging more with the residents and advocating some of the issues and concerns they may have."
Lesage said although the Massey/Victory Heights neighbourhood - which runs from McBride Boulevard east to East Columbia Street and from Eight Avenue north to 10th Avenue - is mostly a "sleepy neighbourhood," one of the issues residents' do have to deal with is traffic and sidewalks.
The corner of McBride and Eighth is a busy area because of the Pattullo Bridge, and the underground pedestrian tunnel that crosses underneath Eighth Avenue at Richmond Street is in need of an upgrade, he noted.
"It's very poorly maintained," he said. "The lighting in there is awful, it's very dirty and grimy."
Lesage said many families and parents use the underpass to take their children to the nearby elementary school, and he plans to talk to the association about taking on the tunnel as a beautification project with the support of city council.
He also hopes to advocate for changes to city sidewalks to allow for more let-downs for wheelchair users and cyclists.
Besides advocacy, the association is also planning for its two annual events - the community garage sale in May, and the family picnic day in September - pending confirmation from sponsors and board members.
The garage sale usually attracts at least 200 people, and the family picnic is especially popular with local kids who enjoy the police and fire department demonstrations, he said.
"It's just a chance for the neighbours to come out and say 'hi,'" he said of the event.
Residents of the Massey/Victory Heights neighbourhood are welcome to attend the association's next meeting, which will be held at Mount Zion Lutheran Church (at the corner of 10th Avenue and Cumberland Street) on Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m.