Winter 2019-President’s Message
New Working Environment in 2019
As we enter 2019, the final year of another decade in the 21st century, we find ourselves with a new Mayor, new Vancouver City Council, and new Park Board. Fresh faces abound. The Kerrisdale Community Centre Society looks forward to a positive relationship with our city government, in particular with the Park Board, our community centre partner. In this regard, seventeen of the 19 community centre associations that were offered the new joint operating agreement have signed. A generally positive atmosphere exists. From this broader perspective two positive initiatives are under way. The Park Board has initiated semi-annual system-wide planning meetings with all associations. Most importantly, the Association Presidents Group (APG) has been re-activated. The APG now meets monthly to discuss and communicate with the Park Board about issues of common concern across the community centre network.
Challenges for Kerrisdale
Our Society will have challenges to remain financially sustainable under the new Joint Operating Agreement (JOA). Our budget for 2018-19 will run at a deficit. This outcome results from loss of membership revenues (not allowed under the new JOA), greatly increased share of staffing costs, a new fee associated with the ActiveNet registration system and the new operating fee imposed by Park Board. As noted in our last message, we are projecting that a two-year time period will be needed to adjust program registration fees and more stringent cost controls to accommodate these increased costs. During this period the Society will continue with necessary expenditures on equipment and instructors in order to maintain the highest quality of service possible.
JOIN THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Kerrisdale Community Centre is the most active centre in Vancouver and provides a wide variety of programs for those of all ages. You probably know that. But are you aware that our success is the result of hard efforts by the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society Board of Directors working in cooperation with the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation?
Each year at the Annual General Meeting , members of the Kerrisdale Society elect new Directors to its board who bring fresh ideas, skills, and enthusiasm to help expand our programs and further develop our services. In 2019, the AGM will take place on February 20. Those elected will be joining an existing group of dedicated volunteers to help shape our centre’s growth and evolution.
Directors are expected to participate in 10 monthly board meetings each year, join at least 2 committees and volunteer for special projects as needs arise. For most Board members, the time commitment is 6 – 8 hours per month. We particularly seek enthusiastic and energetic people who are familiar with the Kerrisdale community and the programs of the Centre. Specific skills and experience that would benefit our board over the next several years include strategic planning, web site design and communications as well as professional or managerial experience. We specifically require a candidate with a professional accounting designation. In addition to Directors, the Society seeks volunteers to bring skills and insights to a number of Board committees; the time commitment is less, but the rewards are great.
Prospective candidates must apply at least 10 days prior to our Feb 20 AGM to allow time for an information meeting with members of our Nominations Committee. To be eligible, candidates must have been a member of the Society on or before January 20. Annual Memberships are free and can be obtained on request at the main desk in the centre. The Society is registered under the BC Societies Act; our membership year runs from Sep 1- Aug 31.
Please note that the Nominations Committee may waive the membership and application deadlines for candidates whose skills and experience are particularly relevant to our needs.
Additional information and an Application Form can be found on our KCCS web site. Go to the “Join the Kerrisdale Community Centre” heading, and select “Get Involved” followed by “Join the Board of Directors”.
The new Lunch, Opera Zone, and Social Recreation programs in the Seniors’ Centre are being well accepted. To date approximately 700 patrons have signed up for one or more of these programs. Staff members are monitoring compliance with the need to register in these programs and soliciting patron perceptions as to their cost and suitability.
The Society’s Finance and Program Committees have identified 16 programs that will be subject to price increases in the spring of 2019. Board members and volunteers worked hard to ensure that even with the fee increases these programs remain competitive with comparable programs offered by other community centres.
Volunteer of the Year
I am pleased to report that Mr. Brendan McCracken has been recognized as the Society’s Volunteer of the Year recipient for 2019. Brendan has been a long term volunteer in the Seniors’ Centre, providing daily assistance for more than 10 years, particularly with the set up and cleaning that is part of our seniors’ lunch service. Thank you Brendan. It is your work and that of our many other volunteers that allows the Society to function in a cost-effective way. Brendan’s award photo will be posted along our “hallway of honour” that runs between the main reception area and the seniors’ centre.
Loss of a Valued Colleague
On a sadder note, on Sunday, September 30, 2018 I attended the Celebration of Life for Gerry Massing. Gerry was a former president of the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society (1985-91) and of the Dunbar Community Centre Association (2011 – 18). Gerry also contributed countless hours on behalf of the G12 group of community centre associations during weekly meetings between 2012 and 2014 with Park Board. As a lawyer, he brought credibility and a reasoning voice to challenging negotiations. Vancouver’s community centre associations owe much to Gerry for his enormous efforts towards our achievements over the past seven years.
The Society’s AGM will soon be upon us as it is set for February 20th. In addition to approval of minutes and our audited financial statement, nine of our 18 elected Director positions will need to be filled at the AGM. Please see the information in the shaded box above to get further details on the role of Directors and the election process
Robert W. Lockhart, President