Hi Everyone in the EFCL Londonderry District (B):
Here's a quick report on happened at the April EFCL Board meeting. I was a packed agenda that unfortunately took us late into the evening.
Thanks to Jeff Stewart of McLeod Communty League for attending the EFCL meeting. It was great to see a district league at one of our regular board meetings. Just a reminder the board meetings are open meetings and members are welcome to attend them.
Download the April Board Package (PDF)
Download the April Board Package (PDF)
1) EFCL Reviews Its Role In Civic Engagement
This started because a few City Councillors took exception with us on a number of issues. But this is a much needed exercise. This is a very good opportuntiy for the EFCL and it's member leagues to dramatically improve how we interact on civic issues. We have formed a committee and we will be inviting community league input once we do some basic work on the issue. This is a wonderful opportunity to improve our status, the sophistication and impact of our engagement and to have the role of community leagues respected on a much higher level.
The EFCL has decided to review the manner in which the federation and its member leagues get involved in civic issues. The goal is to find ways to do a better job of responding to civic issues and complement the city’s public engagement process.
A Civic Engagement Committee has been struck to oversee this exercise. It is comprised of four board members (David Dodge, David Gibbens, Christine Bremner and Masood Makarechian), two planning committee members (Jamie Post and Elaine Solez) as well as two EFCL staff members (Allan Bolstad and Bev Zubot). The EFCL is also considering hiring a consultant to help us through this exercise and has tentatively lined up some community advisors to review our proposals.
Here is a sample of some of the broad questions we hope to answer during the review process:
- Should the City be notifying leagues directly, or should EFCL be notifying leagues of project initiatives needing public input? In what instances should both EFCL and leagues be contacted directly by the City?
- What is EFCL’s obligation vs. the City’s obligation to consult with leagues?
- To what extent should EFCL be educating leagues on planning matters and coordinating the input of leagues?
- What is the obligation of leagues to consult with their neighbourhood residents?
- What support should EFCL and/or the City be providing to leagues if consultation with residents is expected?
- In what situations is it adequate for EFCL to participate in city task forces or workshops without first consulting leagues? How can EFCL consult with leagues if the information provided at workshops is not public information which can be shared?
- How can the EFCL provide input to the city on multiple topics if we are to adequately consult leagues on every topic?
- And finally, how can EFCL partner with the City in the public engagement process to make best use of EFCL and City resources?
The EFCL will draw on the work it has recently done with its leagues on two major exercises.
The first was a review of the sustainability of older neighborhoods, which lead to the creation of the city’s Elevate Report. The second was a review of the zoning guidelines governing low density development. In both cases we hosted multiple workshops and developed a consensus on a number of key recommendations from among the league participants.
In one instance, the EFCL reported on behalf of the leagues, while in the other leagues presented their recommendations directly to the city, with some assistance from the EFCL.
While both of these reviews entailed a lot of work, they left the federation feeling that it had helped shape the final product.
The EFCL intends to launch its Civic Engagement review this spring and complete the work by the end of the year.
2) Solar and Energy Conservation Program Cooking Along
Work is proceeding nicely on the EFCL’s Solar and Energy Conservation Program. All of the leagues have received their energy and carbon audits and have been asked to submit their list of hall retrofits to the City of Edmonton no later than May 17. The city will package them and send them to the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) in order to qualify for $50,000 in grant money from the centre’s Taking Action to Manage Energy (TAME) program.
The EFCL’s board of directors were presented with the summary findings of the energy and carbon audit on its office headquarters at its board meeting on Thursday. A wide range of suggestions were made, from installing a wind turbine on the roof to reducing lighting levels and installing outside doors that are better insulated.
With respect to the solar installations, two companies have been selected to do the work on the seven community league halls and the EFCL building. Evergreen and Gold will handle the installations at North Glenora, Meadowlark, Alberta Avenue and the EFCL. Dandelion Renewables will install systems at West Jasper/Sherwood, Rossdale, Riverdale and Ritchie.
The installations are scheduled for the last part of April and first week of May (assuming the weather cooperates). A presentation on the energy and carbon audits as well as the solar energy installations is scheduled for our annual general meeting on May 29.
3) Registrations Pick Up For Volunteer Recognition Event
The federation is pleased to report that 179 community league volunteers have registered for its Volunteer Recognition Event on April 23. The evening features a series of videos on community league projects and a talk from motivational speaker Laurel Vespi. Set for the Myer Horowitz Theatre at the U/A Student’s Union Building, the event begins at 7:00 and will conclude around 9:00 p.m., after a wine and cheese social. The event is open to all community league volunteers and registrants are encouraged to contact Joanne Booth (Joanne.Booth@efcl.org) by April 19.
4) EFCL Endorses Realtors Website and Safety Council’s New Facility
The EFCL decided to endorse two projects at its meeting last week. The first is a comprehensive website being put together by the Realtors Association of Edmonton and Area.
Entitled YegisHome, the multimillion dollar initiative is designed to contain a wide variety of information on communities throughout the city, in addition to extensive descriptions of homes for sale.
The Realtors would like to include information about community leagues and their activities on this website, as another means of equipping buyers with information about the community they are considering. This appears to be a good opportunity for the EFCL and its member leagues to raise their profile and get their information into the hands of potential members.
The second project is the new Centre for Safety Excellence that is being put together by the Alberta Safety Council.
Located near 50 Street and Whitemud Drive, the $10 million facility will house driver education classrooms and feature an expanded Safety City Park for children to learn the rules of the road.
5) EFCL Prepares For 2013 Annual General Meeting
Preparations are now being made for the federation’s 2013 Annual General Meeting, which is set for 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 29 at Duggan Community League (3728-106 Street). A draft agenda presented to the board last week included presentations on the federation’s Solar and Energy Conservation Program, 100th Anniversary Project and the new bar code system on community league membership cards. Quick updates will also be provided on Leagues Alive 2013, the Balconies in Bloom program and Living Local Arts and Heritage Program.
The federation will also be seeking new board members in the west end and Capilano areas, as well as planning committee members in the west end, Castle Downs and Capilano area.
Community league delegates are urged to contact Joanne Booth at the EFCL, particularly if they are coming for dinner, which commences at 5:30 p.m.
6) Mark your calendar for Leagues Alive 2013
Community league volunteers are encouraged to mark their calendar for Leagues Alive 2013. This year’s conference will be held at the Grant MacEwan downtown campus on Saturday, Nov. 16. The event will once again feature a variety of board development workshops, as well as an opportunity to hear from the federation’s corporate sponsors and have lunch with members of Edmonton City Council.
7) Federation’s Books in Good Shape
The EFCL received a very favorable review from its auditor, Curtis Friesen of Hawkings Epp Dumont last week. The federation was complimented on the establishment of a $200,000 financial stabalization reserve, which it has been working on over the past five years, as well as
the manner in which its books are kept. Curtis will be reporting to the general membership at the May 29 AGM and will be happy to answer questions at that time.
Thanks to Allan for writing up the notes,
District B Rep. and President
Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues