Our Election / Notre élection – Sophie Brasiola

(Version française ci-bas)

Sophie Brasiola, Candidate for Councillor, seat #3

From the city to the countryside

In 2015, when the moving truck stopped on McKay street, I had no idea what the future looked like for my husband, my 2 kids and myself. We decided to move from the Montreal Suburb and start a new life…destiny brought us here, in North Hatley.  

The urban life was good when we were younger. I’ve graduated with a Bachelor’s of Commerce from Concordia University and work over 15 years in the fields of business, marketing and communication. But I knew at a young age that I wanted to anchor myself in nature.

Today, my family and I are established in this beautiful paradise that is North Hatley. I work for a worldwide reputable company established in the region. My husband is a firefighter in North Hatley and it’s here that we chose to raise our family.  

Our story is far from being unique, I meet with families like us regularly in the village. And that’s my main motivation for running as Councillor today.

My motivations

  • I have a deep connection to North Hatley, where we have made our best family memories.
  • I have a profound respect for North Hatley’s history and origins. I speak often to people born and raised in this village and I share their desire to preserve North Hatley’s uniqueness for future generations.
  • I’m concerned with today’s challenges, mainly protecting the environment and our resources, responsible urban and economic development, and reignite a community that is engaged and active.

I want to get involved, and make a difference.

My strengths to contribute

  • Communication: communication should be open, transparent, and inclusive, leveraging today’s tools and platforms in order to keep the community informed and entice constructive debate.
  • Relationship: I know how to develop strong relationships with the community, commerce, organizations and unify everyone’s strengths and expertise to overcome the challenges we have in front of us.
  • Rigor: no ambition is possible without rigor and our ways of working. With my professional experience, I know how to structure projects and deliver them. Managing budgets and measuring efficiency is something that we definitely need for this village.

If you have questions, or feedback, please do not hesitate to communicate with me sobrasiola@gmail.com

Hope to meet you soon. 

Kind Regards, Sophie Brasiola

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Sophie Brasiola, candidate au poste de conseillère, siège n. 3. 

De la grande ville à la campagne

En 2015, lorsque le camion de déménagement s’est arrêté sur la rue McKay, je n’avais aucune idée de ce qui nous attendait; mon conjoint, moi et nos deux enfants. Nous avions décidé de quitter la banlieue de Montréal pour refaire notre vie, à notre façon et le destin nous a dirigé ici à North Hatley. 

La ville nous avait plu étant jeune. J’y ai fait mes études; un BAC en Commerce de l’Université Concordia et plus de 15 années à œuvrer dans le domaine des affaires, du marketing et des communications. Mais très tôt j’ai su que j’avais besoin de la nature pour m’ancrer.

Aujourd’hui, nous sommes fièrement établis dans ce beau coin de paradis qu’est North Hatley. Je suis à l’emploi d’une entreprise de renommée mondiale établie dans la région, mon conjoint est pompier volontaire pour le village de North Hatley et c’est ici que notre famille grandit.

Notre histoire est loin d’être unique, des familles comme nous, j’en croise régulièrement dans notre village. Et c’est ce qui me motive à m’impliquer pour notre village. 

Mes motivations

  • Parce que j’ai un attachement envers le village de North Hatley, c’est ici que nous créons nos plus beaux souvenirs avec notre famille. 
  • J’aime son histoire, ses origines. Je parle régulièrement aux gens qui sont nés ici et qui y vivent depuis longtemps. Je veux préserver notre patrimoine, l’essence de North Hatley pour notre génération et celles à venir. 
  • Les enjeux d’aujourd’hui me touchent particulièrement; l’environnement et la protection de nos ressources, les projets de développement urbain et économique plus responsable et raviver une communauté active et engagée. 

C’est en m’impliquant que je veux faire une différence pour notre communauté.

Mes forces à contribution

  • La communication: je prône une communication ouverte, transparente, inclusive et en utilisant des outils actuels afin de garder la population informée et active dans les débats.
  • Les relations: que ce soit avec  les citoyens, les commerçants, ou les organismes, je saurai développer des relations qui nous permettront d’unir les forces et les expertises de chacun afin d’innover pour contrer nos enjeux.  
  • La rigueur: aucune ambition n’est possible sans rigueur dans nos façons de faire. Oeuvrant dans le milieu des affaires depuis 15 ans, je sais structurer et mener des projets à terme,  gérer des budgets et en évaluer leur rentabilité. Nos finances en ont grandement besoin!

N’hésitez pas à communiquer avec moi pour toute question ou commentaire au sobrasiola@gmail.com

Au plaisir de vous rencontrer prochainement!

Sophie Brasiola

OUR HISTORY, OUR FUTURE AND OUR CCUP II & III

(version française dans un article séparé)

Dear North Hatley Town Council leaders and candidates,

I have come to North Hatley for 70 years as a summer resident and although I am unable to vote in this upcoming election, I hope to suggest to you the importance of proper planning and design for the future of the village of North Hatley.

My hope is that the new council will empower the CCUP to propose a set of design and building guidelines for the village to be approved by the council. A set of consistent regulations for which each owner could adhere. These regulations and  guidelines for substantial rehabilitation or new construction within the village should be established and approved according to the results of the Strategic Planning Committee that were recently put in place.

My hope is that the town council would authorize the CCUP to propose a set of building guidelines such as: 

  • FAR (Floor Area Ratio, i.e. the ratio between the size of land and a proposed building as a measure to determine the size and mass of a new building);
  • historic design integration;
  • consistent set-backs from the street and property lines, and height limits. 

This process of establishing the guidelines would include public input.

I also hope that the CCUP be the authorized body to administer the design and approval process for each development, utilizing the approved set of development guidelines. These parameters are essential to keep the historic nature of the village and to allow all current land owners to work off a similar set of rules.

I just returned to the village after a Covid-imposed two-year absence to find a new garage (with apartment) built on Magog Road close to my home. In the past, I had inquired about additions on my property to build a garage and I was told I had to conform to set-backs from the road that would make any structure out of compliance.

What changed? Is there now a new set of rules?

A goal for all leaders of the village is to develop guidelines that are consistent over time. They need to ensure transparency and fair play. We need to trust that our leaders are above individual persuasion from eager land owners or developers who make promises that are often not kept.

In my professional past at Harvard University, I worked to build multi-family housing for graduate students in a community with established set of design, construction and zoning regulations. If, however, there was a request for a variance to these rules, there was a public review process before the local Planning Board. This board made a binding decision to approve or disapproved the variance request.

In short, there was a process and a set of rules that all owners or developers had to follow. Everyone was treated the same and all reviews were made public.

We are at a pivotal time in our history and if we do not establish a consistent and thoughtful set of guidelines with public input for our future development then we are in danger of losing the essence of our village that has attracted many families for years, as well as new home owners and visiting tourists.

Thank you for your consideration.

Susan K Keller, Magog Road, North Hatley.

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Comments on M. Veillette’s reply to Paul St- Pierre:

Unfortunately it is disappointing that M. Veillette is proposing to carry on a similar dialog we have been receiving from this council for many years.

We have been dealing with the opinions of outside lawyers and consultants, essentially on the actions the council proposes, without any real contribution from us taxpayers.

It is hard to understand that his proposed committees of village residential professionals will be seriously influential, in view of the fact that such a committee, the CCUP, headed by Mr Veillette, voted against the Connaught renovations, and yet he permitted the council to overrule the CCUP; …he could have resigned in protest!

A better approach would be to: slow down, have meaningful debate including those affected, …have a series of several public consultations, including a referendum on serious issues, to which the council acts on, … only WITH public consent.   

One might hope that gone are the days of a 200 person public meeting where the council only hears what they want to hear, dismisses the majority opinion, and implements the program anyway!

Yes, it may be inefficient, but we are spending public monies, and we have had far too much opinionated poor judgement from past councils.

In summary, it is truly important to elect a council which respects the citizens enough, to solicit public opinion, before proposing legislation, and allowing time for public  commentary, before it gets to a vote on council.

Had this been the procedure, we would have avoided, the Connaught council veto, retained the NHRS public service commitment, and saved hundreds of thousand dollars on the misguided flood zone condo project.

It is up to us to correct these mistakes and on November 7th is the opportunity to do so! 

My fear is that unless we do, we will lose the current administration staff who are still learning their proper roll from a council who does not understand it.

Don Watt, Magog Road, North Hatley

la voix du village the voice of the village