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

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

January EFCL Update

1. EFCL And League Budgets The Focus of January General Meeting

I saw this snowy owl in Camrose this week and needed
a picture for the blog, so here he is! 
The EFCL is holding a special general meeting at Royal Gardens Community League (4030-117 Street)  on January 30 to review the federation’s 2013 draft budget and business plan.  The objective is to get some feedback and direction from the membership on the key programs and initiatives the EFCL has in mind for the coming year.
Once that is accomplished, it was thought that this would be a good opportunity for leagues, in small group settings, to think about their own budget and program plans.  Here, it is our intention to encourage leagues to bring forward their latest budget and strategic plan so that others can hear how they were prepared and how they meet the needs of the host league.  We see this as a good learning experience for leagues and one that will encourage them to enroll in future EFCL workshops on these topics. 
We will have a league budget and strategic plan template on hand for comparison purposes, or to help out at tables that do not have any league material to review.

The rest of the agenda consists of announcements, board and planning committee elections, a report from the city and various EFCL staff reports, that will be dealt with by exemption.  There is also some time set aside for community league suggestions and concerns.

2. Balconies in Bloom 

The Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues has asked the City of Edmonton to include a “Balconies in Bloom” component to this year’s Communities in Bloom contest.  The goal is to give residents in apartments and condomium complexes a chance to take part in the program that recognizes the efforts Edmontonians make to beautify their property each summer.
Response to idea has been most favorable and work has begun on the means by which well groomed balonies can be recognized.

3. Area Councils Support Memorandum of Understanding

A draft memorandum of understanding received broad support at a meeting between the EFCL and the city’s eleven area councils on November 22.  The memorandum sets out the role for the federation and the councils and describes how they will all work together to represent and assist community leagues in Edmonton.
The federation has also agreed to host regular meetings with the area councils to share information and identify partnership opportunities.
Please review the MOU ask your community board if they can support the agreement.  Take your decision to your next area council meeting. You can download the latest version of the MOU here. The agreement is a pretty simple agreement for two of our important community organizations EFCL/Area Councils to cooperate. Evansdale CL looked at this last year and has already accepted it. Most of the Area Councils indicated they would support the MOU as presented at our last meeting. 

4. EFCL Refines Anniversary Project Design

An application has been made to the province’s Community Facilities Enhancement Program (CFEP) for $75,000 to help the federation flesh out the design of its 100th Anniversary Project in Hawrelak Park.  The funds will be used to help with the design of the community league plaza and stream upgrade, which is being planned as a comprehensive facility in the southeast corner of the park.
In addition, the federation has been meeting with the city’s consultant (Stantec), to look at water play options in the park.  Stantec has been charged with developing a conceptual plan for the water play feature and with determining an appropriate location for the facility.  One site under consideration is an open field between the existing playground and stream.  If this location is selected, the water feature would be integrated into the federation’s anniversary project.  The other location is north of the main pavilion in the park, near the northeast corner of the lake.
The consultants are scheduled to present their draft plan to the federation’s anniversary committee on January 14 and to the general public later that month.  It is due to present its recommendations to council’s community services committee on February 26.

5. Community Swim Consultation Meeting Set for January 23.  

A Community Swim Consultation meeting is set for January, 23, at 7:00 P.M., at St Anthony's Centre (10425-84 Avenue).   
The City is proposing two changes to the current program and would like feedback from league representatives.
The first change is to stop referring to this program as a rental.  Given that the city is providing the community swim supervisors, not the renters, it wants to start referring to the community swim nights as a community swim program, and manage it in a similar fashion to other city programs.
With this in mind, community leagues will no longer be required to sign rental contracts. Rather, communities will be asked to acknowledge their interest in being involved in the community swim program in their local pool. The City will calculate the program fee based on the enrollment seasonally, and leagues/ Area Councils would be billed monthly (there will be no change in how monthly rates have been calculated currently).
The second change is to view community swims as a continuous program where leagues will remain enrolled until they notify the City (Facility Booking Unit) of their intent to withdraw.  
It is hoped that the restructuring should remove a number of barriers and facilitate a smoother transition into and out of seasons.
These changes came thanks to the work of numerous area council folks!

6. Continuing Education Program Reaches Out To Community Leagues

The Edmonton Public School Board’s Continuing Education program is exploring the possibility of providing educational programs for community leagues.  The program have provided some examples of courses they could provide to community leagues.  It is also willing to accommodate any special request, if there is enough community interest.  Courses under consideration include; Effective Listening for Leaders, Intercultural Communication, Creating a Mentorship Environment, Effective Meeting Skills, Dealing with Difficult People, Managing Workplace Politics,  Conflict Resolution, Building Cohesive Teams, Team Building, Working with Different Generations, Project Management, Minute Taking.

7. Workshops Scheduled to Review Low Density Zone Changes:

As requested by several of the League representatives who attended the October 29th Public Hearing, the EFCL has organized workshops regarding the multiple low density zone changes under consideration by City Council.   The first workshop, held Dec 3rd at Glenwood Community Hall, was productive and its results will be posted on the EFCL’s website.
The next workshops will be held 7 pm, January 3rd at Pleasantview Community Hall, and 7 pm January 14th at Spruce Avenue Community Centre.  Council’s executive committee is due to consider the matter on January 28.

8. Neighbourhood Design & Complete Streets Guidelines Coming

Guidelines for New Neighborhood Designs and Complete Streets will be available for review by the public from January 28th to mid February.   During this consultation period the City project teams will gather feedback and then do their final revisions before presenting the Guidelines to Council for consideration.   The city will present its draft plans in each of these areas to the EFCL’s Planning Committee at its next meeting on January 23rd.

9. Two Board Development Workshops Planned

The following workshops have been scheduled to help community league board members improve their skills.

a) Tools for Treasurers: Thursday, February 7, 2013, 5:30pm, at the EFCL office. Linda Crosby, EFCL Financial Assistant, and Andrea Sage, Board Development Officer, will expand on key concepts introduced during the Leagues Alive 2012 session, with a strong focus on the necessity of having a budget and how to create and work within the budget the community league board has set.  This workshop will follow the EFCL general budget meeting set for January 30/13, so we expect a full class.

b) Social Media 101: Thursday, February 21, 2013, 5:30pm, at the EFCL office, presented by Joseph Carma, technology & social media consultant.  Joseph has generously offered to provide this opportunity for those community league board members who missed Leagues Alive 2012.

Thanks to Allan Bolstad for the core of this update.

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