President's Report (as given at the 2016 AGM)
I am pleased to be able to report to you on the activities of OSCA over the past year.
Overall, I would like to make the following observations:
- OSCA continues to be in good shape financially; revenues have been strong and we pretty much achieved our objective as a “not for profit” in 2015. Our goal is not to have a large surplus nor is it to have a large deficit. As some of you may recall, we did have large surpluses for a couple of years following the renovation of the Old Firehall. Those years were an anomaly but, thankfully, have left us with a healthy operating reserve. We were able to offer much more in programming with, essentially, the same “infrastructure” that we had before the renovation. Without rehashing the past, OSCA also took on all of the programming function/responsibility from the City of Ottawa during this time. We are very aware that we need to “invest” in our operating model (mainly staff) to achieve our goals and address our priorities. We have identified some gaps and opportunities and the Board has approved a $50,000 deficit budget for this year.
- In 2012, we “checked in” with the community to gain some insight to what OSCA’s priorities should be. We made some changes, set some priorities and adjusted the way we operate. We did another survey this spring to do another “check in”. Overall, I think we are on track and you will hear more about this shortly.
- We have continued to expand how we communicate with OOS – not only do we have a successful paper in The OSCAR and a great website, www.oldottawasouth.ca, but we also have a social media strategy that continues to expand and evolve. We’ll be looking at ways to leverage all of these great communication channels in future years. Thank you to Brendan, our very capable OSCAR Editor and to Kathy, who manages our Website for all that they do.
- We have hosted a wide range of community special events over the past year with excellent turnout and participation from community members;
- We have been engaged in a number of initiatives to advance the views of our community on important development municipal issues from zoning to infill housing, traffic and safety.
- We have kept our Committee structure in line with our priority areas. We haven’t made any changes to our Committees as the current model seems to be working. As a result of some concerns we, and the community have, about one of our major programs, After 4, a Sub Committee has been set up to proactively manage this program.
- We have changed our entire registration system – to a new system called “Legend”. We have had many challenges (as can be expected with any new system). We appreciate the patience of all – we are confident that this new system will be much, much better than what we had before…but it does take a bit of time. We are almost there. And finally;
- We will soon sign off on a Service Level Agreement with the City of Ottawa that will outline the respective accountabilities and roles that we each have in planning, developing and implementing programming at the Firehall
- While the year has generally been a successful one, as always we face a number of important challenges in the coming year:
- We need to address some of the gaps we have in our operating model and in our staffing structure as I have already mentioned;
- I am thrilled that we will have a full Board for the first time that I can recall – 20 talented individuals – a great balance of “old” (12) and “new” (8). We have a strong base of volunteers but we can always use more - so that our important community work does not fall on the shoulders of a few;
- We have some succession planning to do. I’ve already informed the Board that this will be my last year as President. I’ve always said that I believe organizations benefit from a change of leadership every 3 or 4 years and I’m staying true to my word but I will definitely see you at next year’s AGM. We are looking to add some support (and, perhaps, successors) as well for some of our Committee Chairs.
- We have much going on in and around our neighbourhood. Lansdowne, Main Street, lots of potential development sites along Bank Street and, someday in the not too distant future, redevelopment of Brewer Park. We need to press for a Community Design Plan for OOS so that we can be proactively involved in the future of our community.
Your Board/Committees have worked hard this year on your behalf, helping to make Old Ottawa South a better place to live for all of us and I would like to take this opportunity, on your behalf, to thank them all. May I ask all Board/Committee members here this evening to please stand?
A vote of thanks also goes to all our volunteers and staff who help make OSCA the great organization it is and who help ensure that our activities and programs take place effectively and efficiently.
I would like to publicly thank our staff who work hard to make all of what we do a success. Our “core” staff - Christy, our Executive Director, who has gone above and beyond during some challenging times…and her team Sarah R, Sarah C, Darcy & Jessica.
I would also like to thank Janet Conley-Paterson, Centre Director who works alongside our OSCA Staff and has responsibility for the Customer Service Representatives, known as CSRs, who work mainly at our front desk. Thank you also to Don & Leo from the City of Ottawa who have been working closely with us of late.
We appreciate all that you do. Speaking of appreciation, our City Counsellor, David Chernushenko, attends our meetings regularly and is quick to respond and work with OSCA and the neighbourhood of Old Ottawa South.
Thank you all, again, for attending our AGM on this beautiful evening. Please join me in welcoming David to do his report to the AGM.