GACA Board Meeting – April 17, 2018

Minutes, Executive Meeting – Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Location: Glebe Community Centre 175 Third Ave

  • Joanne Benoit
  • Lee Cunningham
  • Sylvia Milne
  • David Perkins
  • Brenda Quinlan
  • Sue Stefko
  • Visitor/Observer Anthony Carricato, Capital Ward, City Councillor candidate

1. Call to Order

7:07 p.m.

2. Approval of Agenda

Motion to accept the Agenda made by Joanne, seconded by Maja.

3. Acceptance of minutes of the last meeting March 20th, 2018

Motion to accept the minutes made by David, seconded by Lee.

4. Business arising from minutes of the last meeting March 20th, 2018

Spring Clean, April 28th:

  • We have posters for promoting the spring clean-up; some have been distributed for posting, and the rest will be put up on the weekend.  Everything is organized for April 28th.
  • The Buduchnist Credit Union is again sponsoring the Spring Clean-up by providing coffee and doughnuts.

Dalhousie Park Grant Proposal – TD Bank:

  • The Dalhousie South Park was included in the Glebe Community Association (GCA) Grant Proposal to the TD Bank The GCA did not receive the grant. GCA is going to reach out to TD to ask why to see if there is something they should be done differently next time.
  • We do not know when the Dalhousie South Park reconstruction is going to take place – it could be closer to the end of the summer.

Civic Hospital New Campus Engagement Group (The Campus Engagement Group: CEG):

  • Sue was accepted into the CEG.
  • There is a good representation from the surrounding community, including from the Dow’s Lake Residents Association, the Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association, and the Dalhousie Community Association.

5. GACA Membership Renewal Discussion:

The question was raised as to why our membership numbers have gone down from our initial start-up. Many people joined GACA initially due to the Taggart building proposal at 265 Carling, but as that fight is largely behind us, we need to find ways to maintain CAGA membership in order to have the legitimacy to represent the neighbourhood and to have the funds for things such as neighbourhood social events.
Increasing the cost of membership could possibly bring in more funds, but it could also result in discouraging new people from joining, or some from renewing. Most Ottawa community associations have a $10.00 fee per household with only a couple having higher membership fees, and a number having no fee at all. For our neighbouring associations, the Dow’s Lake fee is $15.00 per household. Centretown has a pay what you can policy, and the GCA is $10.

6. Treasurer’s Report:

GACA’s bank account balance will be $1,948.24 after the $30.00 outstanding cheque of $30.00 for our FCA membership is processed. Our annual expenses vary, averaging $650.00 a year, which includes money that goes to the Contingency Fund.
In earlier GACA years, when there was no Contingency Fund, annual expenses were lower, averaging $400. Annual expenses include various administration costs (such as printing fees) and social event expenses. An additional annual expense of $200.00 is earmarked for the GACA Contingency Fund.  The importance of keeping a contingency fund balance was stressed.
There was a question as to whether we really need to pay fees to other associations, such as the $2.00 fee from each GACA membership paid to the GCA. It was felt that the membership in the GCA is important. We have insurance under GCA, for example, should there ever be a fraudulent case against GACA, the executive has coverage. GCA including us on things like the park grant application is invaluable. They also help with lobbying, planning, as well as providing meeting space for monthly meetings as well as our AGM.  It was expressed that the FCA membership is also important – we have a voice there, and it is important to know what is going on in other communities.
GACA expenses are minimal and there is nowhere to cut expenses, except possibly finding a no-fee banking account, but the fees are relatively low at $3.75 a month.

7. GACA Membership Renewal Discussion Continued:

We have approximately 80 members. Having a flexible membership fee was discussed (asking for a ‘suggested donation’ of $10). However, in canvassers’ past experience, no one has ever said they do not want to be a member because of the $10.00 annual membership fee, and no one has ever complained about the fee. There was a comment that expressed that if our membership is down, it is because we need to get out there and sign people up.
It was decided to keep the membership fee at $10. There was a question as to if we should have Q & As to assist canvassers, including topics such as, ‘where do the GACA fees collected go?’ In the GCA’s experience, people haven’t asked where the money is spent, but rather what the association has done for the community.  Perhaps we could discuss the successes of GACA – for example, the Taggart building, that could have been 24 stories instead of the 16 planned currently (as a result of GACA’s involvement in the planning process), or the $300,000, Dalhousie Park renewal slated for this summer.
We currently have 171 memberships cards available. In the past, there have been a couple of anonymous donors – individuals who did not want to become a member but did donate $10.00 or $20.00.
We will work on a supporting document for canvassers. If we can find the canvassers, it would be ideal to have one representative per block for membership canvassing.  Membership for businesses is $50.00 per year.  We would like to reach out to the condos. The Lakelander buys a 2-year corporate membership at a time. Abbas was offered a membership, but declined, although they support us by donating items for events.
The method of payment for a GACA membership has always been cash. When going door to door, if an individual said they do not have cash on hand, the canvasser should offer to go back. It was suggested to begin using PayPal for ease of both prospective members and canvassers. There are fees, however.  We could also accept email bank transfers, but there may be a fee for the sender, depending on their bank account (there is no cost to the recipient).  Shopify, which the Glebe uses, is another option.  However, too many payment options may confuse people. It was suggested we keep the online payment options to a couple of choices.
Sue made the motion to incorporate GACA membership online payments, Interac e-transfers and PayPal or a similar method, and GACA will absorb any fees as the cost of doing business. It was seconded by Joanne, with no one opposed. The motion was carried. The board agreed that we will not replace door-to-door canvassing with PayPal, as we still need to reach out to our membership on a personal level.
There was a discussion about moving the GACA AGM to the spring for 2019 and not holding one this October/November, to align our AGM with our membership drive. The AGM is a great opportunity to line up potential membership and process renewals.  One negative is that people do not like change, and by changing the timeframe for the meeting, the AGM attendance could be lower. It was mentioned that the Constitution would need to be amended to reflect any change in the timeline.
It would be important to get as many people as possible to the AGM.  Canvassing could occur around the AGM, both before and following it.  The GCA canvasses before their June AGM, where they report on membership, but we could canvass both before and after.
Sue made the motion to move the next GACA AGM to May 2019, to align with the GACA membership drive, seconded by Maja. The motion was carried.  It was decided that we will begin the membership campaign this May. We will create a document to assist canvassers to respond to questions about the association and what we have accomplished.  A column will be added to the membership list to show how the member signed up (online, membership drive, at one of our events, etc.). This will allow us to see what the most successful membership efforts are going forward. It was suggested that on question 14 on the GACA survey, “neither” be removed as an option, with respect to if a member would like to buy, renew a membership (or neither).   There was discussion about the Join the Glebe Annex Community Association hand out cards – it was generally felt that they look professional and we should use the ones we have, and then update the cards going forward.  They currently refer to the Ontario Municipal which is being replaced this month, so are now out of date.  If anyone has suggestions for the new card, they are asked to provide them to Sue.

8. May 17th Ontario Provincial All-Candidates Debate sponsored by Community Associations

GACA attended a meeting held on April 9th to discuss holding an Ontario provincial all-candidates debate.  It was confirmed that it will be held at the Glebe Community Centre on Thursday, May 17th at 7 p.m. So far eight community associations in the Ottawa Centre electoral district will be co-hosting the event.  The meeting was organized by Jack Hanna of the Centretown Citizens Community Association.  The community associations who will be co-hosting this event are GCA, Dalhousie, Civic Hospital, Westboro, Hintonburg, Old Ottawa East, and us. The next meeting to discuss this event will be held on May 3rd.

9. Banking issue

We had an issue getting a cheque certified through the Royal Bank. We will go to the Royal Bank with an updated list of signatures for our account in order to straighten this issue out.

10. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.