The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 4 at Boyle Street Community League (9515-104 Avenue) and will be preceded by dinner at 5:30 p.m. If you and/or another representative from your league are able to attend, PLEASE RSVP to Joanne Booth, no later than 12:00 noon, Friday, January 31. We need to get an accurate head count for dinner and it sure helps to know how many reports to print. Joanne can be reached at Joanne.Booth@efcl.org or at 780-437-2913.
Winter General Meeting Agenda Highlights:
- EFCL Draft Budget
- Discussion about civic engagement – how can we improve our role?
- Negotiations of groups rates with SOCAN and RE-SOUND
- City talks about new Recreation Model
By the way District B is looking for a planning committee representative. Help ensure our district has quorum at the meeting. Dinner is on us!
Highlights From the January Board Meeting
The EFCL would like to see a greater role for community leagues in the development and operation of the popular Green Shack summer program.
This was main message delievered to senior city staff at our January board meeting, after hearing an update on the status of the 2014 program.
EFCL directors were told that the Green Shack program would be available in a half-day format at about 160 locations and a full day format in another 20 locations this summer. All locations would be detemined and managed by the city, although leagues have been asked to contribute $1,000 each to a fund that would be used to expand the program to additional, city-selected sites.
EFCL reps thanked the city for rescuing the program, which faced major cutbacks when the province discontinued the Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP). STEP funds, along with contributions from community leagues, were used to pay for summer camp leaders.
However, the EFCL asked the city to consider a new role for the leagues, which would include an opportunity for input as well as involvement in program monitoring. A set of measurement tools needs to be in place to determine the success of 2014 program, city staff were told.
- EFCL Seeks Input on SOCAN and RE:SOUND Negotiations
The EFCL would like to know if leagues would like the federation to negotiate a multi-year, all inclusive payment which would replace the annual fees that leagues with halls are being asked to pay to SOCAN and RE:SOUND.
The federation intends to survey leagues attending the Feb. 4 General Meeting at Boyle Street Community League.
SOCAN and RE:SOUND have been given permission by the Copyright Board of Canada to charge a fee to the owners of halls where music is being played.
In the case of SOCAN, which represents Composers, Authors and Music Publishers, the fee is $185/year if gross revenues at events where music is played does not exceed $15,422.83. The fee is higher is the gross revenues are higher.
In the case of RE:SOUND, which represents the performers who first played individual pieces of music, the fee is $9 per event where music is played for the purpose of listening and $18 per event if dancing is involved.
Both of these tariffs force the leagues to do a significant amount of book keeping.
The objective of this exercise would be two-fold. One would be to eliminate the need for any book keeping at the league level. Secondly, we would negotiate a fee that is substantially lower than the leagues would pay if each of them were to pay these tariffs individually. We believe that both SOCAN and RE:SOUND would be amenable to this approach, as it would save them a good deal of administrative legwork and book keeping.
Any payment that is agreed to by the EFCL would need to be recouped from all of the leagues that have a hall. This could be accomplished by dividing the fee equally among the leagues that have halls and adding it to their annual EFCL membership fee.
If a significant number show an interest (through a straw poll) at our Feb. 4 meeting, then a formal motion will be brought forward at our Annual General Meeting in the spring. This will give each league executive ample time to discuss it.
- Federation Prepares for Business Plan and Civic Engagement Review
The EFCL is getting ready to start work on its 2014 – 2018 Business Plan, which will include its first ever review of league civic engagement practises.
This review will kick into gear at the Feb. 4 General Meeting, when leagues will be asked to describe how they decide to get involved in civic issues, as well as the process they use to research these issues. Leagues will also be asked to comment on whether or not they consult with the general public or stick with their own members when they investigate these issues.
The EFCL will use the results of this meeting, along with that from subsequent league surveys and related research to prepare a list of best practises for everyone to follow.
- EFCL Seeks Access To League Financial Records
The EFCL is seeking access to league financial records, so it can do a better job of presenting their case to the city and other orders of government.
On Feb. 4, leagues attending the General Meeting will be asked to vote on this issue. If approved, the federation will ask the city to pass along the statements each league supplies at the time it applies for its annual operating grant.
- Further Refinements Made to 100th Anniversary Project Plan
The EFCL continues to refine its plan for the redevelopment of Hawrelak Park, as part of its 100th Anniversary Project and I joined the committee for the last two meetings.
Following feedback from the leagues, the federation has opted for the plaza option which features a large central fireplace, along with displays showing the three key areas of league involvement (programs, facilities and advocacy). The plaza will also contain a large map,
showing the location and incorporation date of each league, as well as ample seating and a raised area for small performances.
The historical development of leagues, including their involvement in areas like sports, crime prevention and cultural inclusion will displayed along a stream walkway. The connection between leagues and the City of Edmonton is to be the focus of displays in a smaller plaza at the top of the development, next to a small pond.
- EFCL to Investigate Parking Problems at Community Leagues
The EFCL has decided to raise the issue about community league parking once again. This time the focus is on motorists leaving their cars in league lots for weeks on end, in order to keep them off city snow clearing routes.
The federation will be meeting with the city shortly to find creative solutions.
- Federation Makes Suggestions To City About Surplus School Sites
The EFCL has written a lengthy letter to the city, summarizing the concerns it has heard from league on the surplus school site issue.
The federation raised a number of key points in the letter, including the need for a proper parkland assessment, before the decision is made to use a portion of the park site.
If a decision is reached to redevelop a portion of the park site, then the city should determine the which portion of the park site is best suited for a new development and what that development should be. Once this is complete, then an assessment should be done on the interface between the new development and existing park site, as well as opportunities for community programming space within the new building.
Finally, the EFCL noted that the city needs to find ways to rebuild the trust of community residents who felt shortchanged by previous surplus school site development procedures.
- New Community Development Officer
The EFCL is pleased to report that it has hired a new Community Development Officer, Habib Fatmi. Habib will be familiar to many people at the EFCL, as he has volunteered for the past three years at our Heritage Days and our volunteer appreciation events.
Habib’s original career has been in computer technology and as a business manager at various computer companies, however in recent years he has become increasingly involved as a cultural outreach worker, notably with the Mennonite Centre for Newcomers and the Mill Woods Welcome Centre. He has also been active with the Mill Woods Presidents Council and has volunteered with a variety of community league and other non-profit programs.
We will look to Habib to lead our Cultural Inclusion initiatives as well as represent us on various city task forces, including the recent work we started with the city on reaching out to seniors. Habib replaces Shahriyar Khan, who took a position as a Cultural Liaison Officer with the City of Edmonton in early November.
- Al Innes Retires From EFCL Board of Directors
Former treasuer and long time director Al Innes has decided to retire from the EFCL board of directors in order to pursue other volunteer activities.
Al represented District C (Horse Hill/Clareview) for the past five and a half years and was also an original member of our 90th and 100th Anniversary Project Committees.
He was also a stalwart at many community events, including our Heritage Days promotion where he operated the football toss for hours on end.
Al will be recognized for his service at our Winter General Meeting, which is set for Feb. 4 at Boyle Street Community League.
Thanks to Allan for writing the notes for the January Board meeting.
EFCL District B Londonderry Representative