History of Transition Salt Spring Society
Transition Salt Spring Society was founded in 1997 as the Earth Festival Society. During the early years the society hosted EarthFEST events on Vancouver Island, and later became focused on developing and implementing the Salt Spring Island Community Energy Strategy.
In 2009 a group of islanders became interested in making Salt Spring a Transition community Transition Salt Spring was formed and the Earth Festival Society provided administrative support. Because the objectives and activities of the two groups were so closely aligned, it made sense to combine to form one organization. The society changed its name to Transition Salt Spring Society in January 2014.
2016 - Minutes of the 20th Annual General Meeting (May 25, 2016)
Meeting called to order by Andrew Haigh at 10:07 AM.
1. Motion to adopt the agenda: moved by PB, seconded by JS, all in favour.
Elizabeth White mentioned that today's meeting is not the “Third” AGM but actually the twentieth given the Society's founding - as the Earth Festival Society - in 1996. Three years ago is when the new name, Transition Salt Spring Society, was adopted. Duly noted.
2. President’s Report (Andrew Haigh)
2015 was a good year for TSS and RRPAG. Green Drinks and Farm Potlucks went well.
The Education Committee did a stellar job with ten events over the last year, usually in the library, and well attended. The Education Committee is one of the standout groups, performing well, bringing awareness of environmental issues. We thank Jon Healey, Jean Gelwicks, and others involved, good job all around. CEG had a big conference, 220 paid tickets, fundraised from grants, well-attended and interesting. CEG moving on to figuring out how to get a solar garden, for people who can't get them on their own roofs. Eco-Living and HomeTour went well, record amount of money, expenses low, sales of tickets not the highest but one of the better ones. With the EV Group two years ago we were at 5 or 7 EVs and now at 75 on island. New chargers have been installed. Jim Standen and Peter Lamb deserve round of applause for all their work.
3. Treasurer’s Report
Michael Cooke offered his resignation from the Board (accepted). He recommends quickly finding a new Treasure as those duties have grown, including bookkeeping and other duties related to CEG (Community Energy Group, which among other things puts on the Community Energy Conference every other spring and also has the GISS Solar Panels project under its belt); the CEG operates under the TSS "umbrella". Michael noted that TSS is in healthy financial shape, with almost $20,000 in the bank, and provided a 2015 Profit and Loss statement for review.
Peter Lamb asked for clarification of the expense listed as “Drake Road” under the category of Electric Vehicles. Peter then made a motion to table the Society’s financial statements until amended and approved by the Board, and that then they be posted to the TSS website. Moved by Peter Lamb, seconded by PM; approved unanimously. Then Peter Lamb changes motion to accept and approve the financial statements as presented. AW seconds.
Revised motion approved by unanimous vote.
Patti Bauer moves that Board review profit loss and balance sheet at its next meeting, then itemize the balance sheet in more detail, and THEN (once approved) that it posted on the TSS website and all TSS members notified. MC seconds. All in favour.
4. Administrator's Report (Aly Coy):
Natasha Ayton stepped down from admin in September 2015 and replaced by me (Aly Coy). Other than overviewing the day to day administrative duties, sending out a monthly newsletter, and book keeping, I've had a few meetings regarding communications, membership coordination and the Community Energy Group Conference financials. As the administrator I've enjoyed getting to know the board and having a role in organizing and record keeping. For the upcoming year I hope to have a greater role in membership coordination.
5. Committee Reports
Rainbow Road Park Allotment Gardens (Jim Standen)
The RRPAG Garden continues to be a great success with visual appeal enhanced each season and food production is amazing. All allotments are full with a short waitlist. The garden includes 37.5 plots, whose annual fees have been collected thus for all but one. We are very social group. We held three group work parties. The board meets 5-6 times per year. We are planning to build a Gazebo this year. We have approached Windsor Plywood to share the expenses. We are working with Mark at the High School to have the students visit the allotment garden. We have two common areas for group food items (trees, berries, rhubarb, etc.). Also:
-- The chicken project has been shelved because many RRPAG members want to stick with growing garden crops, not raising animals.
-- Jim suggests that we add info about the allotment garden on the TSS website, as both a resource and as a way to encourage other allotment gardens.
Education Committee (Jon Healey via past reports)
The Education Committee continues to co-sponsor events with the Salt Spring Public Library, once a month, using the Library program room. The room is provided free of charge as the Library is co-sponsor but events must be free. I (Jon) have tentatively booked the room for next fall and spring, every third Tuesday of September, October, November, January, February, March and April. The Committee is active in the community and we will keep these events at once per month. Overall this has been a successful year. The co sponsorship with the Library is working well and both Library and the Education Committee are quite happy with our partnership and the results.
Community Energy Group (Andrew)
CEG has done a great job this year, recently with a very successful conference. They were looking into coordinating a bulk buy for solar panels, which has proven more challenging than expected.
TSSEC (Ann Wheeler)
TSSEC provides loans and investment opportunities as its membership continues to grow.
Investment opportunities are ones that reflect the philosophy of Transition. Our goal is to increase membership to 80 (we are at 59 now) and to have $40,000 invested in projects on-island. We want to implement a new marketing program to attract new shareholders and for people who have projects that need funding for their small businesses.
Success stories to date include Black Horse Apiary and the SSI Abattoir (a community-wide project made possible by a government grant and generous support from VanCity, Salt Spring Island Foundation, Salt Spring Island Farmers Institute, Island Natural Growers, the Berman Foundation and many individuals and businesses in the region. TSSEC provided the Abattoir project with a loan at a critical time in its development.)
TSSEC marketing strategy includes announcements of investment opportunities on the Salt Spring Exchange and helping local accountants and bookkeepers spread the word to their clients.
We also have a mentoring program for people who want to apply but aren't sure on the proper paperwork. We can pair with them and help through the application. There is a TSSEC banner heading on the home page of TSS website which links to the TSSEC brochure. Loan amounts so far have been from $500 to $10,000. When a loan is requested TSSEC invites its members to participate by lending money up to the amount(s) requested by borrowers. Historically all loans have been paid back on, or ahead of, schedule) and the TSSEC Board is responsible to evaluate each investment before offering the opportunity to TSSEC members. Short discussion about how TSSEC has its own membership, but is a stand-alone organization.
Electric Vehicles (Jim Standen)
EV Group would like to double the amount of EVs on Island. Since April, 2016 approx 25 EVs have been added to inventory. Now exceeded 70 EV's purchased by Islanders, and many more are on the way. (Several reported orders submitted for Tesla Model 3). It's free to use chargers installed at Island Savings, Country Grocer and Moby’s Pub. Chargers have been donated by Motorize Auto Direct, Campus Nissan and Sun Country.
The EV Show celebrated new chargers at seven locations: Pubs, wineries, Country Grocer, Island Savings, Kanaka Park, and Fritz. We've had educational events. We have five EV vendors including a substantial Tesla presence (4 salespersons and 2 Teslas and personalized / qualified test rides). Victoria Leaf Club. Firsts included Nissan Leaf in foyer at Island Savings, E-bike in Library. 10 sales to islanders (verified by follow-up tracking) retailing approx $300,000. Estimated 20% attendance was from off-island. EV's participated in Earth Day 2015 and 2016, 2015 Fall Fair and 2015 July 1st car show)
EV Group have formed an agreement with Motorize to automate the referral process with SSI. It is on their P/R form.
We have completed the first cut of the EV owner celebration movie and has been attracted attention from Abu Dhabi to Glasgow, to New Zealand.
LOOKING FORWARD: more public Level II charging stations, at the island extremes (Fulford, Fernwood, Beaver Point Hall etc., at Multiple Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs), B&B's (2 more available CRD sponsored subsidies). The initiation of coin donation boxes, where appropriate. More EVs- 150 to celebrate Canada's 150 birthday. EV truck share project. EV's as emergency source of stored power. More EV Statistics:
Peter Lamb notes that “EV” includes electric bikes and the need for more bike chargers.
Membership Committee (Anne Parkinson)
Paid Memberships began in 2014 and grew in 2015. Processing and tracking membership (applications, renewals, etc.) was challenged by not having a good system in place to perform those tasks. Aly’s setup of a MailChimp system to opt-in and opt-out of member mailings has been helpful but paid memberships (a separate issue from our contact list) needs to become better organized under new Society Act regulations. Our current list of 60 members needs to be updated.
For 2016 we will clarify the role of membership in the Society. Our goal for 2017 is to have a solid, well-oiled machine in place with regards to tracking, organizing, and attracting
new members. A review of membership tracking indicates a need to improve entries such as the date joined and soliciting renewals. Look forward to success in these areas in the coming year.
Dennis Lucarelli moves to accept all of the reports as stated AP seconds. All in favour.
Acknowledgement of Directors (Andrew)
Current directors: Andrew Haigh, Dennis Lucarelli, Jon Healey, Michael Cooke, Ky Fox,
Ann Wheeler, Anne Parkinson, Patti Bauer, Mary Richardson, Andrea Palframan. A special Thank You for departing Board members Jon Healey and Michael Cooke for all of their hard on behalf of Transition Salt Spring. (Jon will remain serving on the Education Committee).
Other business: EV Group meets for Green Drinks 5 pm now instead of 4pm.
Meeting adjourned (moved by Jim Standen) at 11:41AM