Program Recap - January 15, 2018
Submitted by Graham Pearson PHF
President Mark called our joint four Club meeting to order, with Gary K. delivering a thoughtful blessing, and Wayne S. welcoming our visiting Rotarians and guests.  Our guests included Rob Jasper, Barb Cox-Lloyd, Nicky Brooks, Joe Dirker, Peggy Clark and Tom Muldren (ed: might be a misspell biff or two).
President Mark ran through the following announcements and meeting topics:
  • January 22nd:  The Malawi Project overview by Peter and Elaine Z.
  • January 29th: Friendship Inn serving. Please see Peter Z. for shift scheduling
  • February 5th:  Brenda Banbury on the African water project
  • February 12th: The College of Nursing International Project
  • February  19th:  Family Day - no meeting
Sergeant Dave effectively extracted extravagantly excessive earnings entirely en masse:
  • Peter Z  for those missing the Friendship Inn sign-up sheet
  • Wayne S. for a most interesting guest name mangling (hey-cut him some slack – he’s an accountant)
  • Mike G. for his Son’s 10th Birthday!
  • Gary E. for receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Saskatchewan Real Estate Board and CMHC – Congratulations Gary!
  • Rob J. for a discordant Hello song
  • Mavis for the many donations for the King George school project, and also for a positive update on Joanne’s health
  • Gary K. for an upcoming warm weather trip
  • Heather for her Brit volunteer experience
  • Gary R. for the safe return of his daughter from the Maui scare
  • Graham for lots of skiing and boarding in BC over Christmas with his extended family
  • Wayne M. for the Husky’s wins, his Australian family’s visit, a Texas golf trip and (SD) the Drew Brees loss
  • Vic for an upcoming trip south
Today’s Program
Jack B. chaired this section of the meeting to present the vision and structure for the potential amalgamation of the four Saskatoon clubs. Jack and his multi-club team have been diligently building this plan over the past year for its inaugural presentation today. The following highlights the key points to the plan as well as concerns and observations raised:
  • Jack’s Committee members included Nicky Brooks , Peggy Clark, Barb Cox- Lloyd , Rob Jasper and Joe Dirker
  • Amalgamation of the clubs has been proposed in light of changing demographics and aging members which has caused declining membership
  • As well amalgamation should help ensure the long term success of Rotary in Saskatoon
  • Currently two clubs have no President Elect so change is needed
  • With 150 Rotarians in Saskatoon, running five separate boards does not make rational sense
  • Service and fellowship should be our key aim, not excessive administrivia
  • Our Committee structure is broken given the thin bench strength we currently have
  • What is contemplated is one board with four “Chapters”
  • This model would be a further improvement of President’s Council that has worked quite well
  • A consolidated model will help with our public image as more resources can be devoted to PR
  • Finances would be merged so that only one Treasurer would be needed, not four
  • Finances related to “Chapter” specific projects would be kept segregated
  • The renaming that is contemplated would be the Rotary Club of Greater Saskatoon
  • The new structure should help in attracting new members as separate Clubs would no longer be competing for members
  • Chapters will be independent in how they operate with meetings continuing much as before
  • At least one program a year would be held do jointly
  • Pets can still be attended by Chapter leaders
  • Chapters can help each other on projects with one specific Chapter leading a particular project and also directing the recipients of project proceeds
  • District 5550 is not affected as our Rotary status in Saskatoon is based on our total membership numbers anyway
  • Identity loss is not a major concern
  • The model is more streamlined than the Presidents Council model as the new President moves to chairing only 12 board meetings versus the old model of 45 meetings, 12 Board meetings plus Presidents Council
  • The Voting deadline will be June 1, 2019 so we have ample time to analyze the change
  • Members can put forward concerns and they will be addressed.
  • We will be soliciting input into a Draft Merger Agreement, that will require 2/3 of membership approval to be brought into force
  • Ballots can be by paper or by email to Heather C. and will be kept confidential
  • If one club were to say “no”, 3 would likely still go ahead
  • Web sites would be combined to save costs
  • Competitiveness between clubs would be refocussed on community projects versus competing for members
  • Most Rotary Club of Saskatoon members don't call themselves “downtown club”  members anyway
  • Concern was raised about the onerous work burden for the Treasurer of the Trust Fund, that may become more demanding if serving all five clubs; further support systems may be needed such as hiring/contracting a part time bookkeeper
  • The plan would be that each Chapter maintains its own bank account for weekly operations, while the Club Treasurer and the Finance Committee would handle those matters affecting all Chapters such as International Dues, etc.
  • More automation will be pursued to streamline processes
  • An Administration Committee would be formed under the new Club Secretary
  • No other Rotary Club groups in Canada have tried amalgamation to our knowledge
  • Some see too many personal agendas impeding our current model, while the new model will allow refocus on joint strategic planning like we did with RAP
  • Chapters will still have control over their own projects but more members will be available to assist
  • The Vote today is an Agreement in Principal only subject to the drafting of an acceptable Merger Agreement
  • The new model will help with a common structure of business operations,
  • Re-Chartering the new Club will be necessary but should not be too onerous
  • A future oriented view is strategically necessary, because if not, what is alternative?
  • January 22, 2018 at 1PM will be the cut-off for casting paper ballots, with email ballots also being accepted up to that time.
Thank you to Jack and the Committee for their enormous efforts in crafting the vision and structure of this new model in such a professional and understandable fashion, and for their presentation today.