David Dodge, EFCL District B

David Dodge EFCL Past President and past district rep for Lago Lindo, Kilkenny, McLeod, Evansdale, Northmount, Londonderry, Steele Heights, Balwin, Killarney, Delwood, Glengarry, Rosslyn, Belvedere community leagues in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Photo by Rob Agostinis

Monday, March 15, 2010

EFCL Board Package March 2011 - District B Report

Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues District B Report
David Dodge, District B Rep., March 11, 2010
Download the March 11 Board Package

District B Community Leagues: Lago Lindo, Kilkenny, McLeod, Evansdale, Northmount, Londonderry, Steele Heights, Balwin, Killarney, Delwood, Glengarry, Rosslyn, Belvedere

Notes from the March 11 Board Meeting

Hi everyone, here are some notes about things that caught my attention in the March 11 Board Meeting Package.

6.1 Free Memberships (pg 11)

The idea is to offer free memberships to new residents to introduce them to the benefits of community league membership. Of the two recommendations to the board (see page 11) the board opted to support the second which reads: “That the EFCL encourage community leagues to provide free memberships to new residents and that the EFCL survey all its members to see how many support a policy of giving free memberships to new residents in their neighborhood.” As an example, Duggan CL has provided free memberships for newcomers and free soccer registration for newcomers as well.

DD COMMENT: this is a great idea. This would capture new members that may not even know that community leagues exist. We rope them in, introduce them to the benefits of community leagues and renew them in the second year. The board opted not to put a resolution to the membership to “require” all leagues to participate because we did not think it will fly. That’s too bad, this is a good idea. What do you think?

6.2 EFCL Annual General Meeting Agenda (pg 12)

The EFCL AGM is April 19 at Athlone Community League (13010 129 Street)
Registration and Dinner 5:30 pm, Start time: 6:30 pm Finish Time 9:30 pm
We still do not have a District B representative on the EFCL Planning Committee. This is a great opportunity to make a difference on City-wide issues from a community point of view. The committee is presently working on defining Family Friendly Housing, side yard transition policy, Artificial Lighting Policy, Affordable Housing, Social Housing, Group Home spacing, and much more.

DD COMMENT: It would be great to have a representative from District B, ask around, we probably have some great candidates in our region.

6.3 Planning Committee (pg 13)

The EFCL is putting the final touches on side yard transitions between low density and multi-unit housing. The key recommendation is to retain a 7.5 m side yard between apartments and housing instead of the 3 m being recommended. The committee is also recommending side yards not be relaxed based on sun shadow studies until the City has adopted minimal sunlight standards. And finally the RA* Apartment Zone (up to 6 stories) should not be adopted to reduce them from 7.5 m. (See page 13)

The EFCL Planning Committee is also working on an efficient lighting policy. The board liked the presentation that was made (page 14), but sent it back to committee to specifically acknowledge community security concerns and how it can be dealt with in the context of an efficient lighting policy.

DD COMMENT: This is a great idea, but we must acknowledge and look after community security concerns right in this policy. The police tell us to light everything all the time, and this sometimes completes with energy conservation and light pollution concerns of some. The idea is to look after security and conserve energy at the same time. Apparently, more light isn’t always the answer. More on this alter I am sure.

6.5 School closure position (pg 16)

The EFCL Recommendation:
March 11, 2010 6.5 – School Closure Policy Position Allan Bolstad, Executive Director

1. That the EFCL ask each public school board to step up its efforts to keep schools open by working with the local community to find partners for vacant space before announcing any closures and by taking steps to eliminate vacant space.
2. That each school board be invited to join the EFCL’s Living Local campaign by promoting the concept of students attending schools close to where they live.
3. That the EFCL go on record as opposing the process currently used to close schools and communicate its concerns about the impact of school closures to the school boards, the City of Edmonton, the Province of Alberta and other key stakeholders.
DD COMMENT: I whole-heartedly supported this position and so did the board. Schools are the heart and soul of a community and inner city neighborhoods are about to face a blizzard of proposed school closings. The current process results in schools being named for closure and then the community rises up and declares war on the closings. The problem is the decision is all but made at this point. The EFCL is not happy with the process and is actively working to work with board(s) to get notice of schools at risk so communities can receive notice and start work on plans to save their schools well in advance of the fatal day. It is hoped that creative arrangements can save as many schools as possible, both in recognition of the vital role they play in the fabric of the community and in the sense that as the city evolves there is a good chance with changing demographics and densification that these schools will be needed again some day. The EFCL received notice that the process has started to close Eastwood School, McCauley School, and Parkdale School. This added some urgency to this issue. More later. (see page 18 and 40)

8.3.2 Report on First Time Home Buyer’s program (pg 25)

You will recall the City rammed through a program to build “affordable homes” on surrendered school envelope sites around the city and designated 20 vacant sites for a pilot program to build affordable housing. Walter Trocenko answered a number of questions we had about how that program is doing – you really should read this on page 25.

DD COMMENT: essentially this program is going nowhere fast, since the demand for the housing is not high.

8.3.3 Group HOme Distribution
(pg 26)

The EFCL Planning Committee has formed a sub-committee to look at the distribution of Group Homes in Edmonton. An enquiry was submitted by several ward 3 councillors and there will be a report on the spacing of group homes to the City’s Executive Committee on March 18. DD

COMMENT: The planning committee and others are taking an interest in social housing issues and we all need to support these efforts, but we are pushing for is fair distribution of housing projects and group homes across the City.

8.4.1 Community Ice Time Allocation Changes Comming Soon (pg 27)

The City of Edmonton provides 100 hours of ice time to community leagues much of it is NOT allocated each year. The City would like to develop a separate allocation process where you can go and rent ice for your league on a priority basis, but only for non hockey activities. The EFCL is hosting an allocation meeting for 2010-2011 on March 24, at 6:30 pm at the EFCL Office. Don’t miss this if you are interested in community ice time in the arenas.

8.4.7 Swimming Pool Allocation (pg 30)

The Aquatic Development Committee met on February 23. They are creating two poll allocation committees: one for city-wide groups and the other for Community Leagues. A meeting is being organized for June – stayed tuned for dates and times.

10.3 Community League Day Kick-Off Event (pg 39)

As you may have heard Community League Day is September 18 and communities all over the city are organizing special events to promote community leagues across Edmonton at the start of the new Community League Membership Year! Register your event with Michael Janz at the EFCL and let’s make this the biggest group of community events ever. Send your information to michael.janz@efcl.org to get your league involved – 15 leagues have already registered their events. The EFCL is planning a photo op stunt four days before Community League Day to draw attention to it – 150 students from Victoria School are each going to hold a sign representing all of the Community Leagues in Edmonton in the shape of a map of Edmonton in Churchill Square on September 14.

That's it, please send your comments in anytime.

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