McCauley Community League AGM Draws Crowd Again
New faces come on board; decisions made about contentious issues.
While it wasn’t the packed house that the 2014 McCauley Community League Annual General Meeting drew, most of the seats set up were filled in St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on March 21 for the 2015 version. 80 people signed in, 70 of them voting members. There were also around a dozen children as child care was provided.
There was one major hitch before the meeting even began. The facilitator originally chosen to moderate the meeting had a family medical emergency. Fortunately, she was able to find someone with skills and experience, but who had to drive in from Wetaskiwin on the snowy roads. He made it in time for the meeting to start not much later than scheduled.
Two major decisions were passed at the AGM. The MCL brought forth a number of bylaw changes, including making the election of the board happen every two years instead of every year. Sixty-two ballots were completed for the bylaw vote: 55 for, five against, and two stating the vote was out of order.
Another decision was whether or not to direct the board of the MCL to support holding the annual Edmonton District Labour Council’s Labour Day Barbecue in Giovanni Caboto Park. This has been a particularly contentious issue with both vocal supporters and opponents. The previous board of the MCL made the decision to stop the barbecue in McCauley without first having a community discussion. At this year’s AGM, there was first a vote in favour of discussing the issue (which, if it did not pass, meant that the MCL would uphold the decision not to hold the barbecue in Caboto Park).
The motion for discussion did pass with the required minimum of 75 percent in favour. The MCL board stated that 134 people had been surveyed at the 2014 barbecue, and about half of them were residents of McCauley. Several community members noted that having the barbecue reflected the neighbourhood’s values of inclusion and being welcoming. The room erupted in laughter when one person said no one complains that over 70 percent of the people who shop at The Italian Centre don’t live in McCauley.
When it came down to the final vote, the moderator counted and declared that more than 60 percent voted in favour, which was necessary for the motion to pass. The actual number of votes in favour was close to 90 percent.
A board of 12 was elected by acclamation. Eight were first elected to the board in 2014: Mike Van Boom, Shauna Forsyth, Randy Loewen, Alex Felicitas, Rosalie Gelderman, Phil O’Hara, Dan Glugosh, and Grace Kuipers. The four new board members are Elizabeth McEwan, Albert Bernard, Micah Cooper, and Krista Mitton.
Three people on the MCL board last year chose not to run again: Fr. Jim Holland, Peter Mawson, and Megan Heather.
This year’s MCL AGM was not all about decisions and elections. Several people were thanked for their contributions in the community: the residents of E4C McCauley Apartments for volunteering at many events throughout the year; Sgt. David Kabyn, for founding the annual McCauley Cup game between the neighbourhood children and the Downtown Division beat cops; and Steven Johnson for teaching the free weekly guitar lessons offered jointly by the MCL and E4C for the past 10 years.
Last year, over 160 people attended the AGM where the entire board of the McCauley Community League was voted out and replaced. Current President Mike Van Boom stated in his AGM report that, “It’s been a difficult year in many ways; a year of transition, and a year with numerous challenges. It’s also been a year of trying to heal some of the differences in the neighbourhood. While we have made some ground, there is still much work to do. But I am proud of what we have done this year.”