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PTS financials ‘alarming’: former board member

Organization holds successful AGM after two failed attempts

Newly elected PTS board president Jessica Freedman says she would like to see a better dialogue between the board and facilitators. Credit: Ben Welland
A former PTS board member is questioning how the organization is funded and where money is spent after its treasurer presented PTS’s financial statements at its Nov 29 AGM.
 
Gary Leger resigned from the board earlier this year, along with board president Denis Schryburt. Leger says PTS does not provide adequate services compared to the amount of cash it takes in.
 
According to the 2011 financial statement, 2011 revenue was $191,564 — with the City of Ottawa providing $114,283. Leger says the amount PTS spends on actual programming is too low and the $96,937 the organization allots to staffing is “alarming.”
 
“What would happen if the city cut any sort of funding?” he asks. “It’s an unbalanced approach. Unless the board takes drastic measures to fix their funding sources, PTS may run into some difficult times again.”
 
Executive director Claudia Van Den Heuvel did not respond to a request for comment.
 
The Nov 29 AGM was the organization’s third attempt to reach quorum this year. It began with facilitator Bob Walsh asking for a vote on whether audio recording of the meeting should be allowed.
 
“One of the things that had come up in preparing for this was the issue around recording, and so as an executive and with the executive director . . . we were kind of exploring the different aspects of recording this meeting,” Walsh said. “Part of the concern was around safe space for people to be able to share or speak something, and does recording infringe on that.”
 
While Van Den Heuvel joined 11 members in voting against allowing meetings to be recorded, 15 members voted to allow it.
Acting president Jessica Freedman expressed a need for dialogue between the board and program facilitators. Freedman said that when she acted as a group facilitator in 2004 and 2005, facilitators felt the board of directors didn’t know about PTS’s day-to-day activities.
 
“My hope is that the directors will become knowledgeable about the association, the programs and the things that we do,” Freedman said, adding that her request is not an official bylaw amendment but rather a symbolic statement.
Van Den Heuvel agreed, saying that the new board will look at the issue when conceptualizing the future strategic plan.
 
Two proposed bylaw amendments passed. The number of proposed bylaws had decreased compared to amendments proposed at the failed Sept 25 AGM.
 
One bylaw amendment changed the board of directors’ terms from one year to two. A staggered term for directors, allowing for half of the board to stay on each year, is now in effect. However, the elections at this AGM fell under the previous bylaws, meaning the staggered terms will not take effect until next year.
 
Reelected board members include president Jessica Freedman, vice-president Doug Saunders, secretary Aryn Ziebarth and treasurer Don McGibbon.  
 

Christian Hackbush, Mike Jan, Patrick Juneau, Robert Crevier, Wendy DeWolfe, Jennifer Mackin and Kris Bittermann are new to the board.   PTS Financial Statements for year ended Dec 31, 2011